Happy New Year!
We have certainly had a lot of bad news lately.
Honolulu consistently ranks in the “Best” lists among major magazines, however.
Fortune Magazine rated Honolulu as the #67 best place to live in 2009.
It also rated it as the one of the Best places for a long life.
Business Week listed Honolulu at Number 1 in the US from a study done by Mercer Consulting.
No. 28: Honolulu - U.S.
Mercer score: 103.1
2007 rank: No. 27
GDP: $13.86 trillion (2007 est.)
Population: 303,824,646 (total country); 380,000 (total city)
Life expectancy: 78.14 years
A handy calculator shows you how to figure out the difference between where you live and Honolulu. For example, if you make $50,000 in Los Angeles, you will need to make $53,987 since the cost of living is 8% higher. Here’s the catch: employers in Honolulu typically pay 1.9% less than employers in Los Angeles. That explains a lot, doesn’t it? Anyone that has tried to get a job here knows that pay rates are typically lower. My guess is because of the sheer number of retail and tourism jobs, which tend to bring the median wage down. The closest similar income I found is DC - Washington. Even San Francisco costs less than Hawaii.
If you want to get a good comparison of Hawaii home costs (PDF) compared to the mainland, see Paul Brewbaker’s (Senior Vice President and Chief Economist with Bank of Hawaii), reports. They are excellent. He has data on domestic and Japanese arrivals, employment, tourism, inflation, growth (including Honolulu’s CPI or Consumer Price Index) and forecasts. Good stuff.
Unfortunately, the number of bankruptcies in Hawaii hit a 3-year high last week, according to the Star Bulletin. Foreclosures are up as well, with the majority apparently being held by Countrywide Home Loans, particularly on the Leeward and Ewa areas. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, it would seem.
Now is a great time to visit your local library, bookstores (don’t forget Jelly’s Honolulu or in Aiea!) and parks. Go camping! Start a blog! Get in shape. Stay positive, and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
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