SO YOU WANT TO RETIRE IN HAWAII V
Living in Hawaii
I retired from my government job last May, 2010 and moved to Hawaii in July, 2010. I came bringing my wife and her 4 four legged critters in tow. I thought that I would relay a little information about the transition while the memories remain fresh and does not fade with the list of other experiences that I have forgotten over time. While I have learned a little about the other islands, my specialty is the Big Island of Hawaii.
Evaluating Pros and Cons
Before you come to Hawaii, you need to count the cost in other forms outside of the financial implications. Since I have been here over the last 6 months, I have had time to calmly assess the wisdom of this decision to move from Colorado, the Mainland, and relocate here. I will start ‘positive’ with the advantages here:
Perfect climate; This applies if you are truly a ‘fair weather friend’. There are no ‘cold snaps’ here, such that can make the oranges fall from the trees in South Florida and the Keys. While San Diego has a great climate, this area stays comfortable and temperate even more consistently. It makes Los Angeles look like the North Pole. At this stage of my life, ice anywhere outside my beverage glass or the refrigerator is a hassle. They used to say in Colorado, ‘if you don’t like the weather, don’t worry it will change tomorrow”. The island climate here is more dynamic. The day can start with rain and look as if it would rain all day. However, within the next 20 minutes the deluge ends and the sun comes out and you would have never believed it rained at all. This climate is not truly tropical like you might find in American Samoa or Guam, where it is terribly muggy, and in American Samoa, with a temperature variance of only 10 degrees or so on any given day. Here, it cools into the sixties at night making it comfortable to sleep without having all the windows in the house closed. The pleasant trade winds keep humidity down. So if there ever were an “Eden”, it is here. We simply do not get the hurricanes associated with the Caribbean area having temperatures ranges similar to ours. The Big Island is very diverse and if I want to see the snow again, I just drive up the mountain range and get all I need.
Low Stress; After retiring from a ‘high pressure’ job, this is a place where one can truly move on. Everyone seems to take their time and no one is in a hurry to go or to return from anywhere. The weather, people and surroundings virtually scream at you ‘RELAX’, so what is your hurry? The air is pristine and the environment is practically pollution free. Combine the two and you have the makings of a long and healthy post-retirement life. I have loss 15 pounds from that stubborn middle age spread over the last 6 months that I have been here. You guys know what I mean. When looking for an explanation, if anything, I have been less physically active then before. So, I have come to the conclusion that Stress Kills. I was irritated on a day driving home from Hilo. An old gentleman wearing a straw top hat in the car ahead of us was taking his sweet time. He was driving a sky blue 1959-61 Pontiac convertible having fins, with the top down. A bumper sticker on his car read,” IF I AM TOO SLOW, YOU ARE ON THE WRONG ISLAND”. So, get use to slowing down because people and circumstances will make you if you don’t volunteer to do it on your own. Your comfort level has a lot to do with how you feel and look. I find that attractive, I certainly hope this is something of value to you, as well. Statistics show that the average life expectancy for any one state within the United States is greatest in Hawaii and Minnesota. While Minnesota is a beautiful state (I have had the pleasure of paying a visit), I would still have to choose Hawaii between the two.
City of Hilo
Physical Move-The move to Hawaii, if you want to relocate your household is more daunting than trucking household goods across the lower 48. The ‘Missus” and I are still bringing things over piecemeal. If you can come over prepared to make a fresh start in this way, you may well be better off.
No Regrets-Once you decide to come here to the “BigIsland” be prepared not to look back. There is a profound sense of isolation that comes with living 2,500 miles from the Pacific West Coast, and it goes beyond geography. You are separated from your family by more than a state or two. While I cursed the daily commute across Denver’s infamous ‘mousetrap’, the point where I-25 and 1-70 intersect, to get to work each morning, I now realize that I wasn’t sure that I wanted it ALL to go away. Much of the conveniences: shopping, services, selection and all of that have gone away. If you like the city lights and activity, you should go to the Island of Oahu and make Honolulu your home. There are just 50,000 people in Hilo, the largest town on this island, hardly your big city environment. Yes, we can always go to Honolulu for those big city amenities, but dealing with the airlines and rental car companies can discourage this. But, when things settle a bit more, we will go over to go to a show, go dancing or something. Don’t forget the time difference, during daylight saving time; it is 3 hours earlier from the West Coast and 6 hours from the Eastern Seaboard. Six hours is the better part of day when there is business involved. So, be prepared to make a ‘clean break’ when you come here to stay.
Expensive-Remember, as I have said in an earlier article, The cost of living in Hawaii is more expensive than most of the Mainland. However, it is not hopelessly so, depending on where you choose to live and the lifestyle that you want.
As the 5th and final installment in the series, I hope that I have provided information that is of use. Please drop me a line, if there are any questions you have about aspects that I may not have addressed. We are content here, may your way be as pleasant…….
Another Look Around Our Immediate Neighborhood
Cost of Living http://hubpages.com/hub/So-you-want-to-retire-in-Hawaii-I
Flora and Fauna http://hubpages.com/hub/SO-YOU-WANT-TO-RETIRE-IN-HAWAII-II
Employment/the Economy http://hubpages.com/hub/SO-YOU-WANT-TO-RETIRE-IN-HAWAII-III
General Environment/People http://hubpages.com/hub/SO-YOU-WANT-TO-RETIRE-IN-HAWAII-IV