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-   -   Is cost of living really why so many move? (http://www.hawaiithreads.com/showthread.php?t=21849)

Amati November 28th, 2016 04:48 AM

Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
Islanders Away ...... why does it happen? Many times we hear that it is due to the high cost of living here in Hawaii. But is there more to it than that, is that an "easy excuse" to give that is acceptable without other people pressing for more information or giving their unwanted advice?

The StarAdvertiser has a story about the zoo director leaving his position.The director, "whose resignation is effective Dec. 15, has been making $164,000 annually". But a press release by his new employer in Abuquerque said he "had accepted a post as its deputy chief executive at $110,000 a year."

Humm, the decrease in wages of over $50K are going be offset by a lower cost of living? Well, maybe I should look into the average cost of housing in his destination of Albuquerque, N.M. before I decide.

Anyway, what I'm really wondering is why do people leave, and is cost of living a strong consideration but there are actually other important things at play too? Such as limited employment advancement opportunities? Poor performing public schools? Traffic problems (Oahu)? Social/cultural disharmony? Why do folks move away?

Ron Whitfield December 26th, 2016 11:20 AM

Re: Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
Most richies have a home in Hawaii because they like Hawaii, and the status element, but for the average professional it must be frustrating to impossible to make a go of it here for many reasons beyond their chosen focus. But the playing field is evening out to the negative as mainland costs and Gmt. intervention are killing businesses everywhere, and it's only getting worse. Farmers here are being priced out despite Gov. Ige's 'hopes' for self-sustainability. And of course we're still blowing it in regards to the gold mine of hemp production as Maui exits cane, not to mention med MJ and recreational opportunities. Students see the failings and still have to leave home for browner pastures just to envision a family and home ownership, and the aggravation is that it was all avoidable and forced upon us by greed and corruption.

cabanalane December 21st, 2017 12:59 PM

Re: Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
I left Hawaii. Now, more than 1/2 of my life has been spent on the mainland. So not sure if I still qualify to have an opinion on this question.

I have a lot of things I know I would never have if I stayed. But when I left, it was NOT about $$$, big house, and stuff.

It was the norm to catch the bus. To work part-time at Liberty House, after our full time job.

My Dad had two jobs, my mom had three. I had two as an young adult. UH Grad, professional field. They saved up, and eventually bought a house. A apartment. It took them about 20 years of saving to be able to get a "real" house.

That was the norm. That was what I know. Life was good - by Hawaii standards. I missed it. There are times, I wish I could go back. Or wonder what my life would be like, today, in Hawaii. I still have friends and keep in contact. But I know what I "missed out" by leaving. We live life forward, so I don't regret leaving.

IMO, some people used the cost of living as an "excuse" on why they are leaving Hawaii. It makes good headline news. For the Zoo Director, that's his exit strategy. It's like when you quit your job, you would never say, the job sucks. Maybe people hate him.
Maybe he was about to be fired. You would always say you left for a "better job opportunity."

GregLee December 29th, 2017 02:05 AM

Re: Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cabanalane (Post 290530)
It took them about 20 years of saving to be able to get a "real" house.

Coming from the Mainland, it took my wife and me, both working part time at UH, 22 years before we could afford to buy a house. (Not complaining -- very happy to be here.)

GregLee January 8th, 2018 03:41 AM

Re: Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
The Washington Post has an article on why Hawaii is losing population: Why are people leaving? There are many comments at the end.

Adri June 6th, 2018 02:04 AM

Re: Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
I know several people who think they cannot afford to retire here and so are planning on leaving the islands after they retire. Sadder, I know people who are telling their kids to go to the mainland and don't come back here to live.

terrence k. teruya June 6th, 2018 07:50 AM

Re: Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
Well I am thinking of moving to the mainland too after I retire, well unless I win the governors race. Cost of living is just too expensive, but I hear mainland is cheap but you need to put up with worse issues there like crime , more homeless, of course race issues, and the worst for us local people....SNOW.... I still have time to weigh what I going do but 6 years will fly by, I hope I come up with a decision by then. With our state so greedy and stealing my money I just saying eh nuff already.

cabanalane September 17th, 2018 01:16 PM

Re: Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by terrence k. teruya (Post 290623)
Well I am thinking of moving to the mainland too after I retire, well unless I win the governors race. Cost of living is just too expensive, but I hear mainland is cheap but you need to put up with worse issues there like crime , more homeless, of course race issues, and the worst for us local people....SNOW.... I still have time to weigh what I going do but 6 years will fly by, I hope I come up with a decision by then. With our state so greedy and stealing my money I just saying eh nuff already.

I live on the mainland, but I left for other reasons (not the cost of living).

Crime? You can choose the city and neighborhood.
Homeless? You can choose the city and neighborhood.
Snow? You can choose the city/state.

Race issues is something you can not change. I often felt out of place on the mainland. I've been questioned by people on where I'm from? Go back to my country? Am I a U.S. citizen. Am I from here? Refused service. Stared at. And pulled over by police officer because I was the wrong color skin (not white enough). And when I said "I'm from California" is where I last lived, they looked at me like that's not possible. Must be from China. This is 2018, and same for the last 20 years. I'm Chinese-Poly-Haole. Honestly, on the mainland, I don't know "where" I belong. Been gone more than half of my life now. Hawaii IMO, is still home.

If you can get used to that, the mainland is cheap.

I can choose a more diverse city, like San Jose, CA. But houses are like $900K for a 3bd home. Regular house.

StinkyTheGrump September 28th, 2018 02:42 PM

Re: Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
I just left Hawaii with my family for southern California just recently. The cost of living was not a big concern for us as we live frugally and my spouse and I both have good jobs. The main reasons why we left were as follows:

Schools. I have two young kids and the public schools in Hawaii are horrible. We moved to one of the best school districs in the country and the houses cost roughly the same as what I sold my house for in Hawaii.

Job opportunities. I work in technology and this field has very limited opportunities in Hawaii. My wife had already reached her promotion potential in Hawaii for her job.

Activities. There is so much more to do on the mainland, especially California, and things are much closer via airplane or driving.

Climate. We used to never have to use air conditioning in our house in Hawaii. The last few years have been brutally hot to the point where I'm miserable for months out of the year. California near the coast is very mild.

Friends. Literally 80% of my family and friends in Hawaii have left for the mainland.

Traffic in Hawaii is only getting worse. I don't think the rail will be finished for another ten or fifteen years (despite what they're telling you) or so at the going rate and it probably won't fix the problem anyway.

I loved Hawaii and had many wonderful years enjoying my time here but for us the decision to move was clear.

TuNnL October 12th, 2018 07:30 AM

Re: Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
These are all really helpful points of view. I consider myself in the “Terrence Teruya” category. I understand all the wonderful things in Hawai‘i. I grew up here. The culture, environment and people are special and unique.

But you have your head in the sand if you can’t see things are getting progressively worse. Traffic gridlock has become normal. Crime is skyrocketing (and the digital signs hung from H-1 freeway overpasses — ensure we advertise the stats). Taxes on businesses have raised the cost of everything from a 12-pack of Diet Coke to plastic shopping bags.

Rents are at an all-time high — if you are lucky enough to leapfrog over the next person trying lease the same unit. And that one thing overriding factor — the Aloha spirit — where has it gone? Seeing someone help a stranger in need is MUCH more rare than observing a theft or assault. More and more people treat each other like dirt. It’s unbelievable how many people refuse to even acknowledge you when you say hello.

Wow! We’ve truly become a different place. :(

cabanalane October 24th, 2018 10:53 AM

Re: Is cost of living really why so many move?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TuNnL (Post 290811)

Wow! We’ve truly become a different place. :(

That's partly why I don't want to go back, because I would be sad to see/feel that my Hawaii is not the same.

Everything changes. I probably can not call myself "Local" now since more than half of my life is on the mainland. I lived in California for 10 year, and even there, things have changed, everything got expensive, traffic is horrible, etc, etc, same story as Hawaii. So my California today is not the same as I remember 15 years ago.

In my old age, I'm beginning to think it's all perspective. If someone moved from Washington DC to Hawaii, they may think traffic is not bad, housing prices is fair, and the weather is awsome. Why pay the same $$$ to live in the frozen cold.

I have a friend that left the mainland for Hawaii 2 years ago. In her opinion, Hawaii is a great place to be compare to the mainland (California).


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