Think About It: The High Cost Of Surviving - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

January 15, 2018

Think About It: The High Cost Of Surviving

50% of Hawaii households can barely cover their basic needs. That's right, half of Hawaii homes cannot make ends meet, and that's even with people often holding more than one job at a time. For a family of four, the current local threshold statistically required to meet minimum needs for a family of four including housing, food, transportation, medical and child care is $72,336.

Now this sound frightening, until you realize that this just slightly higher in terms of  the percentage of people who are just getting compared to the national norm. According to the group Wider Opportunities for Women a few years back, 45% of the country cannot afford these basic needs. Bankrate.com said last year that only 37% of Americans have enough savings to pay for an emergency under $1,000. 63% of people would have to cut back spending or borrow money to make a payment up to $1,000.  33% of American families have no savings at all, according to Pew Charitable Trusts.  The stark economic realities go on and on, locally and nationally.

When you compound these issues with our local cost of living, lack of alternate areas to easily go to, and lack of affordable housing, and that's always a fun term to define, you can see that more help than ever is needed to reduce some of the angst that undoubtedly far too many people in Hawaii feel, day after day as they toil away, and night after night as they possibly lose sleep. So million dollars condos might look nice and appeal to a really small group of people, often non-residents, but where is the serious effort to help the rest of Hawaii? Where is the solutions-oriented task-force that uses public and private minds to come up with viable, win-win solutions? Where is the urgency and resolve? People with little or no savings but the spirit to work hard and resolve their issues and provide for their keiki need solutions, not eviction notices.  Think about it…

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