When Living in Paradise Costs a Pretty Penny

Scenic Honolulu Oahu. Hawaii homes on a hill

“Condo prices set record.” “Median price of a home reaches new high.” What!? These are the headlines that leave us shaking our heads in despair.

The housing market may be off to a healthy start in 2018, but what does that mean for the average Hawaii resident? Will kids have to live with their parents forever? Maybe find some friends to chip in for a tiny apartment with no parking?

Even my teen and college-aged sons, who are years away from homeownership, have made comments about never being able to afford to buy their own home in Hawaii.

When it comes to the price of paradise, the facts are discouraging. Here are some findings from a recent study on the financial struggles working families face in Hawaii:

  • Nearly 50% of Hawaii residents live paycheck to paycheck
  • Approximately 25% of residents fear not being able to pay their monthly rent or mortgage
  • Almost 17% worry about providing enough food for themselves or their families
  • One in four residents have had their car break down without knowing how they would pay for repairs

As parents, how do we set our children on the path to this not-so-achievable American Dream of homeownership or saving for retirement? At Hawaii State FCU, we believe it starts with being financially literate, and we are doing what we can to help Hawaii families reach their goals.

Our newly overhauled website provides free financial tools to help people make knowledgeable decisions about their money. Here’s an overview of some of the resources we have online:

Free Financial Education Seminars

From topics such as Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Retirement Preparation, boost your financial knowledge. Check out our Events Calendar to sign up and attend a webinar near you.

Financial Solutions Tool

Map out your financial path to a goal from buying a home to funding your child’s education.

eLearning Modules

Get the knowledge you need with 25 highly interactive e-learning modules covering a wide range of topics such as Credit Scores and Reports, Considering Home Ownership and Estate Planning.

Financial Calculators

Take the guesswork out of how much a loan payment will be or how much your accounts can earn in interest with endless options of financial online calculators.

Wallet Wisdom Blog

Find tips on saving money for a vacation, improving your credit score and much more. Be sure to bookmark our blog!

We encourage you to take advantage of these tools so you can make the right decisions when it comes to your money. Hawaii State FCU is committed to making Hawaii affordable for our members. And that’s something I can proudly tell my kids.


CEO, Anderw Rosen headshot

About Andrew Rosen

Andrew Rosen is president and CEO of Hawaii State FCU, with more than 20 years of experience in financial services. He has served in senior management roles at some of the nation’s largest and most successful financial institutions, including Bank of the West in San Francisco, Washington Mutual in Seattle, Regions Financial in Birmingham, Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati and Bank of Hawaii in Honolulu.

Rosen received a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School and an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He sits on the boards of PSCU (a financial services company), Housing Solutions Inc., Positive Coaching Alliance, AccesSurf Hawaii and the Hawaii Credit Union League.

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