Here is a reader email I got just today. If you have a question about moving to, or living in Hawaii – send it now while I have some time to get these posts out!

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Hello my name is Veronica, my husband and I are planning a move to Hawaii in early September, I am 38 he is 35 we are free spirits and feel that we have what it takes to give Hawaii a go… But we also are being realistic and have a plan b.

We are simple and know how to make something out of nothing which is why we feel we have a fighting chance. Of course we are saving and selling everything and pretty much coming with a couple of suitcases and our dog. We received an email from a friend (one of the many “warnings” we have gotten about living there, #1 being the cost of living) but this warning was about the radiation from Fukashima being in the water and dirt, traces found in milk etc.

What if anything do you know about the current status of this problem? We couldn’t find any recent articles about this.

We have been to Maui but we are considering choosing the big island based on the more “affordable” nature. I am an artist I currently own a flower shop and before that I was a gallery owner and a picture framer my husband is in property management and currently works at a hotel.. so I feel that we have skills that are employable.

Do you think kona is a good choice for us? We are definitely willing to go with the flow and love meeting new people.. And we are ready for our next adventure. We would love your opinion on this.

Thank you,


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Hi Veronica,

Thank you for your note, it is great to hear about new people considering moving to Big Island Hawaii, it is a popular place because of the lower costs in comparison with the other islands.

I understand that your husband works in property management and it seems logical that he should be able to get a job fairly quickly on the islands, but please keep in mind that there are limited numbers of properties to manage on Big Island, and, I think there are many retirees there that would also like to find jobs doing the same thing. I am not so sure there will be any positions like that open when you arrive. On Oahu, you would have a better shot at finding a property management job. Of course if your husband has great experience with a major property, he may be able to grab a great job upon arrival. Please research this in the job boards before going. If it looks like few openings, please have another idea for what he might do for work.

I just did a search on Craigslist on Big Island for “property management”. Nine results came back. This is the only listing that was an actual property management job:

Property Manager – Vacation Rental (Kona)
Seeking an individual with experience managing vacation rentals.
This is a great part time gig for a SUPER RESPONSIBLE, HIGHLY PUNCTUAL individual.
I have a single family home that is about to be rented to vacationers (generally staying 4 to 10 days).
Property is 2 blocks from White Sands beach in Kona.

Since you are experienced at this, please reply with a list of all duties you will perform.
Also provide information on your past experience.
The typical property management fee is 20% of rents which will comes to $1680 per month.
However, since every position posted here must have a guarantee, we will guarantee the higher of $800 per month or 20% of gross rent.

Position starts mid February

So, at a minimum there is $800 per month. Maximum, $1680. Sure, it’s a small place, a single family home, but it is the only job available on Craigslist at the moment.

So please, do a lot of job searches on Google and job boards covering Hawaii.

Hawaii Jobs at About –
Hirenet –
Hawaii Job Engine –
Hawaii Jobs on Demand –

As an artist, you will probably love the Big Island. I really do enjoy the colorful paintings of the islands by local artists. Not sure what sort of art you do, but if you focus on something in Hawaii, you may be able to eventually begin selling your pieces. I like writing, but I think being an artist in Hawaii is the ultimate job. I wish I had some skill to draw, paint, sculpt, something, anything!

You asked about radiation. It’s a subject that isn’t being mentioned much at the moment. Some bluefin tuna in California were found to have abnormally high amounts of radiation. In Hawaii, anything that washes up on the beach from the tsunami in Japan could have high radioactivity. At the moment nobody is panicking about it – you shouldn’t either. Rest assured, you’ll know if anything major happens with it because it will be all over the news. Hawaii residents do not take the damage of their environment lightly – and there are many activitists that will get the news out if there is a possibility of danger from the reactors.

You mentioned that you have a Plan B. Great, if you can afford to move to Hawaii and then move back if things don’t go well, you probably should go ahead and give it a try.

If you think of it, drop me a note here and let me know how things are going.

Best of life, and Aloha!

Peter Kay