When the Price of Paradise Is Too High
Hawaii Is Expensive!
Last month, we featured an article about a young family who was able to make their dream of owning a home in Hawaii a reality. This month, we will look at a young professional couple, Kirk and Meredith Darr, who decided that the price of paradise was just too high.
According to the US Census Bureau, there are 37 more people per day moving out of Hawaii than there are moving in. In 2016, Meredith and Kirk Darr took the opportunity to move from South Carolina to Hawaii with a plan of living the island life and making it work. Returning the mainland was not an option!
They both secured great jobs with respectable pay and rented a studio apartment in Waikiki for $1,500/month. They purchased a Toyota Camry adding $175/month in parking fees and $324/month for car payments to their monthly bills. Meredith commuted to Hawaii Kai and Kirk took the bus Downtown every day. Unfortunately, the two young professionals also had student loans from law school and graduate school which added to their monthly expense.
They lived a moderate lifestyle, eating out only once or twice a week; taking their lunches to work. They enjoyed days at the beach, walking around Waikiki and taking weekend trips to Lanikai and the North Shore. Two years later, soon after finding out they were expecting a baby, they sat down to figure out finances. After looking at the cost of a nicer 1-bedroom apartment, childcare and distance from family, and future opportunity for income, they realized that their dream of staying in Hawaii might not be possible.
Shortly after their financial discussion, Kirk received an amazing job offer in New York City. The couple decided that the offer was too good to turn down. Leaving their hearts and friends behind in Hawaii, they made their way to New York with plans for saving more money, paying down student loans, affording a more comfortable lifestyle and having a closer proximity to family. The couple plans to visit Hawaii often and dream of making their return to the islands as soon as possible.
Stories like the Darr’s are all too familiar. Unfortunately, some of our brightest and best are left no choice but to leave Hawaii in search of greater opportunities and a more affordable lifestyle.