Should I Move to Hawaii?

There are many reasons to pick up and move to Hawaii. Perhaps your job is requiring you to relocate, or you’ve recently retired and want to enjoy the beach-loving lifestyle, or maybe it’s just always been a dream of yours to live in this tropical paradise. Regardless of your reason, here are some tips to help make the transition a little easier.

Should I Move to Hawaii?

should i move to hawaii

Image via Flickr by erikccooper

Moving to Hawaii is a big decision and one that you shouldn’t take lightly. Not only is there a lot to the process of moving from the mainland to the Hawaiian islands, but you also need to decide if living on an island in the middle of the ocean is for you. Things to consider include:

  • Higher housing and utilities. Even though Hawaii offers some of the lowest property taxes, the actual cost of housing can be quite significant. When assessing the mainland at 100%, the cost of housing in Hawaii is 286%, with the median home cost at $621,70 compared to $231,200. That’s quite a difference. Utilities come in at 185%, with groceries at 150%, and transportation at 122%. Overall, living in Hawaii is 170% of the average cost of living on the mainland.
  • Available jobs and wages. Many jobs in Hawaii are based heavily on the tourism industry, so be prepared to look for something at restaurants, hotels, and resorts. The median household income is approximately $85,000, which is higher than the mainland to help with the increased cost of living.
  • Higher groceries. Hawaii’s groceries are ranked the most expensive in the nation because many of the products are imported. If you want to save some money, you’ll want to take advantage of the local produce.
  • Poor educational quality. Unfortunately, Hawaii ranks at the bottom of quality of education, even though they spend approximately $11,000 per pupil, which is $2,500 more than per student in California.
  • Everything is long distance. You will find yourself further away from family and friends with the expense of visiting keeping many of them from making the trip. The cost of a flight to Hawaii is often much higher than tickets from one state to another on the mainland.
  • Pets. You may not be aware, but the Aloha State doesn’t allow certain types of pets, including hamsters, geckos, snakes, porcupines, wolf-dog crossbreeds, and more.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to consider when moving to the islands.

How Much Does it Cost to Move to Hawaii?

Unless you plan to sell all of your belongings and start completely over in Hawaii, there will be some expenses associated with shipping your possessions. Depending on the size and weight of your shipments, you can expect to spend anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 to get your belongings across the ocean. Add in moving a vehicle, appliances, or furniture, and you can plan to pay the upper end of that estimate.

If you’re planning a move, you may want to consider having an estate sale to unload some of your belongings instead of paying to ship them across the ocean. However, you’ll also want to consider the cost of replacing those items once you’re settled into your new home. Once you’ve moved to Hawaii, it may be time to look at your wealth management process to identify areas for improving your overall net worth through investments so that you can afford to remain in Hawaii long-term.

How Do I Move From the Mainland to Hawaii?

Let’s talk logistics of moving across the ocean to make your new home in the island paradise of Hawaii, such as:

  • Pick an island. Hawaii has four main islands and two relatively remote islands that many people call home. You will need to decide between Oahu, Maui, Kauai, The Big Island, Lanai, and Molokai, depending on whether you’re looking for city life, a cultural scene, diverse geography, lush vegetation, or a more remote, quiet life.
  • Find a job. Unless the whole reason for your move is a relocation due to your job, this will be an important step. There are plenty of jobs in tourism, healthcare, hospitality, government, construction, and military. You will find that relationships are key when it comes to doing business in Hawaii. So take the time to make friends and use that network to find a job you’ll enjoy, especially if the tourism industry doesn’t appeal to you.
  • Rent or buy. You’ll need to decide whether you want to rent or buy a home in Hawaii. You may want to start with renting because it’s less of a commitment and would allow you to change islands if you find out that your first choice is not the best option for you and your family. Be prepared to pay upwards of $2,000 a month in rent if that’s the route you go.
  • Find a school. Picking the place you want to send your child to school can be a daunting task, especially with Hawaii’s less-than-stellar quality of education. You may wish to research public and private schools, which may also alter the island you ultimately pick.

When It’s Time to Pack

There are several options when it comes to packing up your belongings and moving them across the ocean to your new home in your tropical island paradise. These include:

  • Do it yourself. If you want to save money, packing up and shipping your belongings yourself is the cheapest route. Keep in mind that you’ll be the one to do all the heavy lifting, stacking, and unpacking.
  • Door-to-door. A professional moving company will offer door-to-door service where they come to your home, pack up all of your belongings, and then unpack your items at your new home in Hawaii. This option is the most expensive, but you’ll have all of the worry and sweat left up to someone else.
  • Hybrid. You can pack up all of your items and then have a moving company do the heavy lifting to get them to your new destination. You will then unpack everything yourself as well. This is a cheaper option than door-to-door full-service, which takes some of the sweat and pain out of your move.

Once you’ve made a move and settled into a routine at your new home in paradise, reach out to the knowledgeable team at 3D Wealth Advisors to start working on your investment portfolio as you look ahead to retiring in your new island home.