Full-time job opportunity in Maui at $30/hr?

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I received 2 job-related emails today and this one from Carolyn was the other one:

Hi! I just recently came across a full-time job opportunity in Maui. We were recently discussing financial compensation. They are looking at paying an hourly wage of $30 to low 30’s. It would just be me – no pets, and I have a vehicle I can ship over. In your wise opinion, is this do-able? And do you have better knowledge of what would end up being my take-home from that after taxes?

Thank you for your time!!


Hmm..well assuming you get full time employment, $30/hr is about $60k a year which is just below the poverty level. It’s doable if you’re willing to completely give up a predominately Western value system and embrace island-style living. If you done that before, you know what it’s like and you know if you can do it again.

If you’ve never done something like that before, I strongly suggest you visit here on a total shoestring budget and “simulate” living without any creature comforts. If you love it, it might work.

On take the take-home pay question, compare Hawaii’s income tax and healthcare costs to your state and you’ll get an idea of whether it will be more or less than a similar job where you live today.

Good luck and keep us posted!


About the Author:

I’ve lived Hawaii since the mid ‘80s when I moved here at the age of 21. I arrived site-unseen in Honolulu with zero contacts and about $5k in savings. I worked from nearly zero and today Hawaii has given me the greatest gifts in the world in all aspects: spiritually, financially, romantically (married since early ‘90s w/ 2 children), and most important, peace. My goal with this site is to share the magic of this Land of Aloha and help others who are on a similar quest.


  1. Jonathan Belew 10/25/2018 at 1:38 pm - Reply


    My family and I are planning on moving in the near future to Maui. We don’t have jobs lined out, and that the biggest holdback from us moving there now. What are the chances of getting a job there before we move? You stated its better to save and live there for 6 months on savings while looking for work. We own a house, 3 cars, 3 kids, so a move without work is a big risk! I have applied to several jobs, but none has replied. I’m asking about the risk involved. My wife doesn’t like the risk.

    • Peter Kay 10/25/2018 at 1:41 pm - Reply

      Unless you’re some kind of god or can get relocated here via corporate offices, you can’t get a job here until you live here. Putting it straight, it’s a massive risk for your profile. Did you take the quiz? Go to the Hawaii videos section and find the one about how Hawaii affects family and have your wife watch it.

  2. Sherry Hoskins 08/10/2017 at 9:28 am - Reply

    How are the prices around Ft.Shafter in Honolulu? My family may be relocating and I’ve seen prices online, but, what’s it REALLY like and where would the best “moderate middle-income” area be to live?

    • Peter Kay 08/10/2017 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      There really is no area (to speak of) that’s more affordable than any other. In Hawaii, it’s rather about degrees of UN-affordability.

      So for your “moderate middle-income”, Ft. Shafter area is as good as any other. Pearl City area is nearby as well.

  3. Leonardo 07/06/2017 at 7:22 am - Reply

    “Hmm..well assuming you get full time employment, $30/hr is about $60k a year which is just below the poverty level.”

    Wow, how much you need to make to live in Maui? Everybody is rich or you just assuming? All those who make less than the Federal government’s official poverty threshold, which for a family of four is $24,000.00.

    • Peter Kay 07/06/2017 at 8:07 am - Reply

      You need a household income far above $60k for a moderate middle-income lifestyle equivalent to the mainland. Probably more like $150k and that’s assuming you’ll rent a small condo. We made up a quiz to help people figure out if they can live in Hawaii. Try it!

      • Leonardo 07/06/2017 at 9:29 am - Reply

        Thanks for the reply, Peter! But Idk what “moderate middle-income lifestyle” means. I did the quiz and the result was “Hawaii could work for you”, but I’ll check it out soon. Im planning to stay 6mo-1year studying agriculture and working as wwofer. I’ll let you know if Maui its for me (with less than 60k for sure).

        • Peter Kay 07/06/2017 at 3:25 pm

          …meaning simple lifetyle, car, normal appliances, cable TV, occasional going out for entertainment, moderate housing, etc. If you can make it work on Maui for < $60k/yr make sure you let us know how!

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