A move to Hawaii will change you in a deep and meaningful way. It’s the most awesome place there is to live, for me. I’ve been here most of my life, since the mid ’80s. Vern Lovic stayed for five years on Oahu and just over a year on the island of Maui, Hawaii.

Hawaii is still part of the United States of America, yet you might question it as your plane touches down and you step out into the airport.  This is one of the few places on earth where all races or ethnicities are a minority! The three major groups are Caucasians (aka Haole – “How-lee”), Asians (Japanese, Filipinos, Korean, Chinese, etc), and Polynesians (Native Hawaiians, Micronesians, etc).  There are people from across the globe living here. I’ve met people from the mainland, Sweden, England, Germany, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, native Hawaiians, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, Thais, Chinese, and Indonesians living in the Hawaiian islands. The islands are truly a melting pot of culture.

Moving to Hawaii is Awesome for Many Reasons:

  • Temperatures are ideal. It is never too hot – over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, nor is it ever colder than starting your breath to fog.
  • Almost constant “trade winds” that keep fresh air blowing in across the island to disperse whatever pollution might have come from vehicles or power plants.
  • The Hawaiian Islands are surrounded by deep blue, powerful ocean. The color is unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere. There is a real power to the ocean here – it’s awesome in it’s power, it’s constant movement.
  • Awesome things to do. Shopping, walking, picnics, sightseeing, visiting attractions like the volcanoes and historical sights like Pearl Harbor.
  • Surfing, bodyboarding, bodysurfing, swimming, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, hobiecatting, windsurfing, parasailing, parasurfing, and kiteboarding (on skateboards) are all fun activities available. If you get bored here, you’ve got a problem!
  • Climbing / hiking. There are over twelve mountain ridge hikes on Oahu alone. Peaks over 4,000 feet high are available on Oahu. On Maui you can climb Haleakala volcano up over 10,000 feet if you were really inspired.
  • Hawaii is so diverse. The people, the food, the things to do, the cultures, the way of life, the whole atmosphere is different from anything you’ve ever experienced.

Should you move to Hawaii? Find out and take the quiz.

I could keep going on of course, but those are a few amazing and awesome things about Hawaii that endear it to me.

Moving to Oahu, Hawaii or one of the other islands IS possible. If you have $15,000 and some needed skills – you can move today. Book a ticket and leave. That simple. It will be a struggle, but it can be done and has been done for many people with drive and ambition to make it happen.

If you have less money saved, say $8,000 you can still do it – but it will take more planning and some serious skimping before you’re up and running but I think that’s really risking it.  I moved here with $6,000 saved but that was back in the mid-80s and I still starved and came this close to being out on the street. Hawaii – Honolulu, Hawaii is like any other big city. There are jobs available if you have the skills.

Hawaii business is focused on a couple things and if you work in one of these areas you can likely move there and find a job quickly:


If you want to do sales, answering phones, or working in the hotel industry and have experience you’ll find a job quickly. If you sell condominiums or time-share and want to make your mark in Maui or one of the other islands -there is ample opportunity to do so.


There are lots of aging people on Oahu and the other islands. They need in-home care, but not necessarily nurses. There are many live-in opportunities for those that want to trade some hours of taking care of a person in need in exchange for a room and sometimes food. There are also plenty of counseling jobs and jobs working with veterans or those that need mental health services. Plenty of jobs have openings throughout the year. That doesn’t mean you’ll find one in three days, but in three months, sure, you should be able to find one.


There are many jobs working with construction firms – and home renovation firms. People are putting a lot of money into rehabbing their homes and need help. Tilers and roofers are always in demand. The construction trades have an ebb and flow so you’ll have to check out the situation. If you’re a card-carrying union member this place will probably be good for you. My best friend here is in the electrical trades and he’s never been unemployed in the 30 years he’s lived here.

Those with skills they can use online to make money can move to Hawaii easily. If you can do web development or writing or have some other valuable skills that enable you to cyber-commute you can build up a couple of jobs (gigs) and move. You’ll have money until the projects run out – and by then you’ll have worked hard enough to get more to replenish them and stay in Hawaii. Much will depend on how much you are tied to your geographic location. The Internet service in Honolulu is pretty good – not the best in the nation but pretty good – and we do have electricity :) so you should be able to setup a workplace here.

“The cost of living when you move to Hawaii is what you make it.”

In 2018 you can easily spend around $1800 or $1900 a month for a one bedroom or studio apartment in downtown Honolulu if you want to be close enough to walk or bike to anything you need to get to. I mean you can EASILY spend that. For food, you can spend $500 per month for one person – or much more, up to you.

Or, you can learn to live with less and get a room in a house for around $800. You could eat on $350 to $400 per month in Hawaii if you’re smart. The Chinese market in the morning on the weekends has lots of fruits and vegetables for reasonable prices. As reasonable as you’re going to find anyway. I noticed after moving to Hawaii that I seemed to eat less than I normally did on the mainland.

For extras you’ll spend another couple hundred… so, you could live in Hawaii for as little as $2000 per month without a car. Honolulu is a densely packed area that is great for walking around in. You could have a room in Honolulu and walk to work and everywhere else you needed to get to most of the time – supermarket and beach.

If you drink a lot or like partaking of the nightlife nightly you’re going to add a lot of costs to your monthly expenses. If you want to move to Hawaii and remain in Hawaii you probably will have to suffer for a little while until you build up your income and make enough connections to help you weather the first few months – or even years.

Vern Lovic has a friend that moved to Oahu with virtually nothing. He took a job cold-calling to sell insurance. He did OK, but then he found another friend that appraised property. He trained under him for two years making very little – now he’s an appraiser – certified, and doing fine for himself. He has more work than he can handle.

If you’re willing to sacrifice for a while – you can move to Oahu, Maui, Kauai, or Big Island Hawaii. You CAN.

It’s just a matter of how badly do you want to change your life and move to Hawaii??

Here’s the headline for an ad I just found in Zillow in 2023 for a place to stay:

2 bed 1 bath, 600 sq ft in downtown Honolulu: $2500

You will still need to take The Bus or have your own means of travel to get down to town. But still, it makes it seem doable, doesn’t it?

Learn more about Moving to, Living in, and Working in Hawaii: