Moving To Hawaii

The Cost of Living in Hawaii – Is It Worth It?

As you may know, Hawaii is arguably the state with the highest cost of living. Is it still worth it to live on the islands?

The Hard Truth About Living in Hawaii

Here are some of the financial realities to consider when deciding to move to Hawaii.

Cost of Food

On the islands we import 90 percent of the food we consume. This means we pay the highest prices for food in the nation. The Jones Act plays a heavy role in the transportation costs of food, for more depth on this, watch my video. With the perfect weather for growing, many even start a small backyard garden to grow some of their own fruits and veggies.


When it comes to monthly utilities, we also win the trophy for the highest prices. Our state legislators banned the use of coal on our islands starting in September of 2022. Around 40 percent of our electricity already comes from “renewable” energy. Ironically, the state has opted to use oil in the place of coal to provide the rest of the electricity we need. They have traded coal, the cheapest fossil fuel, for oil, the most expensive. Interestingly the pollution from both is virtually the same.

Taxes and Housing in Hawaii

Residents pay the most taxes of any state in the country. Additionally, Hawaii also has some of the most expensive real estate in the Nation.

If you’re curious as to the reason why our cost of living is so painful, watch the video I have attached.

Is Living in Hawaii Worth It?

In my opinion it is absolutely worth it to live in paradise. The endless summers provide an opportunity for a completely different lifestyle. So many things to do are inexpensive or free. Being able to enjoy the beach and ocean any day of the week is one of the things I value most in life. I love to ride my bike and motorcycle, even the warm rain seems friendly.

The culture and attitude of a people who sees so much year-round sun is a hard contrast to living in a cloudy and cold place like Washington State. The Aloha Spirit is alive and well, it is infectious to visitors and residents alike. Living each day with feelings of tranquility and joy are things you cannot put a monetary value on.

We all have a civic duty to stay educated and participate in the betterment of any state we reside in. While Hawaii has opportunity for growth in terms of being more affordable in a reasonable way–it is up to each one of us to be the change we want to see. If you’re visiting or residing, how can you help make the most beautiful state in America better in the process?

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Rich Moser

December 1, 2022

Thanks for the nice video and synopsis. I would like to see you make another one to kind of balance this one out, focusing on the positive benefits of these situations, like: more room for farms and undeveloped nature; better benefits for residents from the higher tax base, etc. Any chance of getting the Jones Act banned on the horizon? That one seems like hugely unreasonable and good for almost nobody!

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