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So you want to retire in Hawaii I
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.
The Cost of Living in Hawaii: Hawaii is expensive-
That is true, as all your friends and associates have told you. But the term ‘expensive’ is relative depending on what part of which island you visit or reside and the life style that you want to have. But, I will tell you that the cost of living is higher than one would find in say, Muscogee, Oklahoma. We live in an area where the Consumer Price Index is only slightly higher than the U.S. average. If you want to live in Waikiki in a penthouse suite, of course, you need to be prepared to pay for the luxury. All of the rest of us have much more modest accommodations.
Groceries: I started biting my nails and perspiring profusely whenever I accompanied my spouse into a grocery store. I thought that I would ‘vapor lock’ for sure. Prices are outrageous by my Colorado standards. I dragged my calculator and later my laptop along with me to tabulate prices and give me some sense of reassurance and control, coming up with a total before we reached the check out. I could probably safely add 25% to the cost of a sack of groceries that I would normally acquire on the mainland. I knew that this had to be brought under control quickly before we found ourselves broke. We found that in the town of Hilo, the only sizable community on our side of the rock, that we could obtain beef products (wholesale) in bulk which are of high quality with the cost per entrée being considerably less than any meat products purchased at the commercial retail outlets. We go to a fish market and shop for fish products at competitive prices, with the fish generally caught on the very day we purchase. You just need plenty of freezer space and you’re good to go. We get our fresh vegetable at a similar wholesale outlet, again with quality, selection and price greatly skewed to our advantage.
Utilities: Electricity costs are around up to 60 to 70 percent more per kilowatt hour than what you could experience on the mainland so be prepared for that jolt. Sakes, all we are running are washers and dryers, an electric stove and a few ceiling fans, to circulate air and keep the mold away. The cost of water is comparable to what I paid in Colorado, approximately $50.00 per month. There are no natural gas lines and since we do not require neither air conditioning nor heating in this climate, the money we save there is a tradeoff. Gasoline is expensive, about a dollar more per gallon then in CONUS. Fortunately, since we are retired, we are not on the road a great deal and then only to go shopping. By planning our trips, we compensate for this disadvantage. We got a nice package deal for our telephone, cable television and internet service which, believe it or not, is actually less expensive then what I paid in Colorado.
Taxes: While there is a state tax, retirement pension/annuity income is exempt. This of course is a positive.
In succeeding installments I will touch on other topics related to settling in the AlohaState permanently such as:
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
Pros and Cons: http://hubpages.com/hub/SO-YOU-WANT-TO-RETIRE-IN-HAWAII-V
I will have a few photos taken with the ‘Kodak’ in and around our immediate environment that I can share with you.
Celebrate the Baby Boomer Experience: http://hubpages.com/hub/BABY-BOOMER-CHRONICLES-BBC-1978