Here is another reader email – names changed to protect all involved – except me.  This guy was about to graduate from school as a physical therapy assistant and he was thinking about moving to Hawaii.

I’ve added “Vern” and “Tom” to designate who is doing the talking below. I like to comment within the body of someone’s email when I reply so I don’t miss any questions.

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Tom – Hey there Vern!

First of all, I’d like to say I really enjoy checking out your living in Hawaii website, Aim for Awesome, it has been very helpful to me already. I just wanted to ask you a few questions.

To start it off, My name is Tom. I’m currently in college studying to be a Physical Therapist Assistant. I’m scheduled to graduate in 2013 right now. I have been born in raised in Britton,MI, a small country town located in Southeastern Michigan. For a few years now I’ve been having this interest in Hawaii, during my Senior year I was actually looking at some colleges out there, but the high tuition and pushed my Dad away from the idea. Now that I have my major and career choice figured out, I’ve been thinking about my future and trying to decide if I’d like to stay around here after I graduate, or move to a new location. This is where I am now.

Peter – Oh believe me my friend, you DO want to move to a new location. LOL. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania… I was so excited to leave when I did. Tuition is high – right. Look into becoming Hawaii resident and how long it is. Maybe makes sense to go there and work 1 yr first to get residency in the state. I had to do it going to FL for school.

Tom – As of right now, I’m 85% sure I’d like to move to Hawaii in the next 2-5 years. I just wanted to ask if you could give me some advice. How would you describe the job opportunities for Physical Therapist Assistants?

Peter – No idea. You’ll have to research it. Hawaii has an aging population – and there are 1MM + people on Oahu. Problem is, people with good jobs who are living in Hawaii – tend to keep them. LOL. You’ll have to research all that. Find names of all hospitals and search their websites for vacancies. Search the Hawaii state job finder for vacancies. Search vacancies at the military hospitals like “TRIPLER” – a giant hospital, that I think is going to be shortly taking non-military patients as well as military if what I read is correct.

Tom – I have learned that the cost of living in Hawaii is 30% higher than the average cost, but I still think it is worth it. I see Hawaii as one of the most beautiful places on earth, I just think it would be amazing to live there. What area would you suggest is best for young adults?

Peter – For your job you’d likely be on Oahu. Live in Waikiki or the outskirts of Waikiki, or even one of the areas near the Pali Highway. Aiea, near Pearl City, is cheaper, and yet far from Honolulu town so commuting is no fun. Ditto that for Kapolei.

Tom – I also have another question, lately this has been on my mind. Could you point out to me a town that you describe as the “country-side” of Hawaii?

Peter – Kahuku on Oahu is nice countryside! (google earth it). And then on Maui – Paia or anything on the way up the volcano (Haleakala).

Tom – This could be any of the islands. What I’m trying to say is that I have been born and raised in the country, I could probably survive living in a town setting, but living distant from a big town would help me feel more like home. (This would be a few years down the road when I’m ready to buy a home).

I’d guess when I move out there, I’d rent a apartment out for a few years to get everything started. Could you point out some nice, safe, reasonably priced apartments that you would think? And again, this could be anywhere on the island. Just preferably close to the ocean, or with a scenic view.

Peter – You’d need to look at Craigslist Hawaii for that. I never stayed in reasonably priced places. Oh wait, yes I did. 747 Amana Street, behind Ala Moana Mall. There are rows of condos there for rent.. (highrises)

Tom – Thanks again for everything! I know I covered a few different topics in this email, but I’m very interested in moving out there, I’m just trying to learn more about it. I’ll continue to visit your website for further resources also.

Thank you!


Peter – No problem – hope you move to Hawaii and live in the countryside, and make it work! Good luck Mark…