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The era of the digital nomad has arrived. And it’s come years before we thought it was possible. With the possibility of living anywhere now in reach for most of us, it begs the question: why not move to Hawaii?

If you’ve ever dreamed of a place with serene temperature, deep blue oceans, mighty mountains and celebrations of diversity and culture everywhere you turn: 

Welcome to the Aloha State.

But packing up your life requires more than pretty picture. You need the details. Like what is the cost of living? What types of industries do they have and are they thriving? If you’re looking to weigh your options, here’s what you can expect from a move to Hawaii:

move-to-hawaii-moved-to-hawaii-what-to-know-economy-cost-of-living-woman-in-car-convertible-road

Move to Hawaii for Culture and Community

Hawaii is a place where almost all ethnicities and races are minorities. While the larger portion of Hawaiian locals consists of Caucasians, Asians, and Polynesians, the ratio of these ethnicities is not large enough to consider them as the majority. You’ll probably find a fellow countryman in Hawaii regardless of the part of the world you are originally from. People from the US mainland, UK, Germany, Sweden, Korea, Japan, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Fiji, Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Israel, and The Middle East can be found in a Hawaiian beach. 

Hawaiian myths and stories about spirits are fascinating, and Hawaiian culture is built upon The Expression of Aloha. The spirit of Aloha refers to being in the presence of life, lessons of compassion, peace, kindness, and empathy towards the future generation. The expression of these lessons is evident in chants, arts, music, hula, and other cultural practices of Hawaii. It is really fascinating to see a community holding on to ancient cultural roots in the modern world.

Hawaii’s Economy and Jobs

Hawaii’s economy is based on three key sectors: tourism, healthcare, and construction. 

As Hawaii is one of the most celebrated tourist destinations in the world, tourism business is always on the rise. New hotels are being opened on a regular basis, creating a lot of jobs in the process. If you have a hotel management or a tourism and hospitality degree, Hawaii would just be the perfect place for you to make a living. 

In Maui, Oahu, and other Hawaiian islands, the demand for in-home care is increasing, along with the aging population. You’ll find a lot of live-in opportunities to take care of the elderly in Hawaii. In addition, there are plenty of counseling jobs if you prefer working with senior citizens who need mental health services. For doctors and other healthcare professionals, there are a number of opportunities as well. 

The construction industry in Hawaii experienced a massive boom over the last few years. Due to the promising tourism industry, the construction market has experienced substantial growth due to hotel construction. 

With the growth of the real estate industry, demand for professionals like tilers, roofers, woodworkers, electricians, plumbers, interior and exterior designers, architects, engineers, and other construction-related workers has been on the rise. 

Typically, it’s difficult to find jobs in tech, education and agriculture, but with remote work moving to the forefront, more opportunities may become available.

General Cost of Living in Hawaii

Living costs in Hawaii are high. To live comfortably, an individual should earn around $4,000-$4,500 per month. 

Expenses Average US Cost (Per Yr) Average HI Cost (Per YR)
Rent (2 Bedrooms) $14,352 $24,540
Food $6,602 $9,903
Transportation (Personal) $8,737 $10,169
Health Care $5,000 $4,700
Utility $2,060 $3,811

 

Source: Apartmentlist.com, Valuepenguin.com, Investopedia.com, itdp.org, cnbc.com, nationwide.com, Payscale.com, Bestplaces.net

Things to Do in Hawaii

If you move to Hawaii, one this assured, you will never fall short of fun things to do. Hawaii is full of historical sites like Pearl Harbor; visiting attractions like volcanoes; entertainment hubs like bars and pubs and more.

If you’re not into adventure, history, or the bar scene, you can spend the rest of your life enjoying the great outdoors with walking, hiking, picnics, sightseeing, and shopping. 

Did we mention that there are beaches? Some of the best beaches in the world can be found in Hawaii. Once there, you can take part in a number of watersports. 

Go surfing, sailing, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, parasailing, and kiteboarding to name a few. 

Oahu and Maui are your go-to islands if you love hiking. Love heights? Go to Maui and climb the 10,000 feet tall Haleakala volcano.

The Bad & The Ugly

Like everything else in life, Hawaii comes with its drawbacks. Everyone weighs the negatives differently, but nonetheless you’ll want to consider these as you make your decision. 

Here’s the first one: if you are not into tourism, opening a new business in Hawaii can be difficult. The Hawaiian market has strict regulations and red tape, making it a difficult place to invest. 

Second: Hawaii’s public schools have issues, and private schools are costly. If you are moving with your family, ensuring a quality education for the children in your family can be a real challenge. 

Despite being separate from the US, Hawaiian traffic might make you feel like you never left. If you are looking to escape city traffic, moving to Hawaii won’t set you free. 

Last but not least, housing costs are high. The median price for a family home in Oahu is around $850,000. That’s higher than the median of major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Bottom Line

Ready to pack it up and head to the Aloha State? Clearly, your finances need to be in order before taking such a big step.  If you decide to move to Hawaii without a strong financial backbone, you may run out of money and end up leaving. 

If you’re serious about making a change, consider opening a high-yield savings account which is one of the best ways to stash cash and build your wealth. 

We’ll see you there.

Photography by Pablo Raya