We have certainly had a lot of bad news lately. Honolulu consistently ranks in the â€œBestâ€ 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 theÂ best places for a long life.
Business Week listed Honolulu at Number 1 in the USÂ from a study done by Mercer Consulting.
No. 28: Honolulu â€“ 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
AÂ handy calculatorÂ 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. Hereâ€™s the catch: employers in Honolulu typically pay 1.9% less than employers in Los Angeles. That explains a lot, doesnâ€™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 â€“ 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 Brewbakerâ€™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 Honoluluâ€™s CPI or Consumer Price Index) and forecasts. Good stuff.
Unfortunately, theÂ number of bankruptcies in Hawaii hit a 3-year highÂ last year, according to the Star Bulletin. Foreclosures are up as well, with the majority apparently being held byÂ Countrywide Home Loans, particularly on the Leeward and Ewa areas. Itâ€™s going to get worse before it gets better, it would seem. Mortgage delinquenciesÂ peaked againÂ in the 3rd qtr 2009, but the pace of growth slowed for 3rd straight period.
Now is a great time to visit yourÂ local library, bookstores (donâ€™t forgetÂ Jellyâ€™s HonoluluÂ or in Aiea!) and parks.Â Go camping!Â Start a blog! Get in shape. Stay positive, andÂ Donâ€™t Sweat the Small Stuff.