Hawaii rich in more than money

Do you feel rich?

According to 24/7 Wall St., you should because you live in Hawaii.

The Delaware corporation, which runs a financial news and opinion company, identified Hawaii as the fifth richest state in America. It reported that the typical household in Hawaii earned $74,511 in 2016, roughly the same as in 2015 yet far more than the national median income of $57,617.

While incomes in Hawaii, with a population of about 1.4 million, remained stagnant over the past year, property values rose. The typical home is currently worth $592,000, the most of any state and far more than the value one year ago of $566,900.

Hawaii has one of the largest tourism industries of any state, according to 24/7 Wall St., with an estimated 17 percent of the state’s workforce employed in arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services, far more than the 9.9 percent national figure.

This report said Hawaii’s poverty rate is 9.3 percent, (the second lowest) and its unemployment rate is 3 percent (third lowest).

The richest states, and only four ahead of Hawaii, according to 24/7 Wall St., are Massachusetts, New Jersey, Alaska and Maryland, at number one.

The top five poorest states: 5. Alabama; 4. Louisiana; 3. Arkansas; 4. West Virginia; and Mississippi.

While it’s good to know that at least one report found that Hawaii is among the richest states in the United States, we should point out it is based on money. Hard to argue against that bar, since money is pretty much what motivates everyone and is behind much of what goes on in this country. “It’s about the money” is a popular phrase for a good reason. If you have money, lots of it, there is an understanding you are successful and sure, money sure comes in handy.

We all know that there is more to being “rich” than having a fat checking account or hundreds of dollars in your wallet at any given time. Life’s routine becomes the distance from home to work and back again.

Sometimes, in the daily grind of cleaning and working and paying the bills, it is easy to forget the many ways we are blessed to live here. Debt, heath problems, rising cost of living, and broken-down cars can create an overwhelming sense of stress.

This is perhaps a bit simplistic for many people, but there are ways to know you’re rich that don’t revolve around money. We’re not saying money isn’t nice to have in your pocket, but it’s not everything, either. A few ways to know you’re rich are:

• You have family and friends.

• You have your health.

• You can go for a walk on the beach.

• You can watch the sunrise or sunset.

• You have a roof over your head.

• You have aloha and know how to share it.

It’s easy to look at what we don’t have and feel left out or cheated or inferior. It’s hard to look at what we do have and be thankful. But if you can, in all situations, be thankful, you are indeed wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of many, many people. You won’t find that in any report by 24/7 Wall St., but you can find it in your heart.


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