If you are considering Hawaii as a retirement destination you are not alone!
Many people are sending me email to ask more questions about what it will take to retire in paradise. Unfortunately, I haven’t retired yet – so I don’t know many of the answers they are asking. What I do is tell them to find a realtor they trust, on the island they intend to move to. Realtors can help Hawaii retirees find homes to stay in, and also they have access to loads of other information about resources retirees can use once they arrive in the islands.
On thing I do know… Hawaii does not have any Certified Retirement Communities.
But, some cities and towns in Hawaii are very popular as retirement communities. I have met retired men and women living in Waikiki, though not many. If you stay in Waikiki you can walk to just about anywhere you’d need to go. Public transportation isn’t the greatest, but you could survive without a car if you had to. My car took a month to arrive so I bought a mountain bike and rode around town with that – even going as far as the airport one time.
One of the biggest considerations you’ll have when moving to Hawaii for retirement is your health insurance and coverage. Don’t just assume it will all take care of itself. Hawaii is a state, yes, but things – even things like health insurance – can require some insider knowledge to get all you can get out of it.
Here are some Pros and Cons of Moving to Hawaii as a retiree that may or may not fit your situation. Read them quickly and decide if any apply to you:
Cons of Retiring in Hawaii
1. Are you used to the good things in life? Foreign and independent movies? Do you run in the art scene? Do you like Saks and other high end shops, and endless shopping? Hawaii has some high end shops, for sure, and some unique items… but, Hawaii is not a shopping mecca for those that live here because the selection is limited. You might bore easily in Hawaii.
2. Are you frantic when you see a roach run across the floor? Ever see a gecko on your wall? Hawaii has both of these – and everyone has to deal with them… some more than others!
3. Can you handle being a minority? Some people have a hard time with this. Others can live in the country side surrounded by locals from another world. If you don’t get along well with people from other cultures you WON’T do well in Hawaii. Guaranteed.
4. It takes a lot of money to get off the island for a break – even inter-island, the cost is something to think about – it’s not like you can take a ferry to Maui for $40 from Oahu. Can you live for long periods of time in one place – on one island? Or, do you have the cash to spend to travel back to the mainland at $300 at pop?
5. Dating prospects are very limited. Friend opportunities are probably much more limited than in the mainland.Pros-
Pros of Retiring in Hawaii
1. Some retirees can land jobs doing something they love – in the place they love, this helps them afford all the extras they’ll likely want to spend money on once they move to Hawaii to retire.
2. The worst that can happen if you have a fall back plan? You return to where you came from. Don’t put all your retirement eggs in one basket when you move to Hawaii. See if you can go for a year and make it work. If not – no worries, it’s not the end of the world. There is still Florida, Mexico, Arizona?
3. Hawaii inspires creativity. I know three people that started writing books when they finally settled down in their new home.
4. A slower pace of life is evident in Hawaii – to nearly everyone. That alone is worth trying the move!
5. If you love boating, swimming in the ocean, surfing, snorkeling, running, walking, good food, and want to live your life in paradise – Hawaii has all this – and so much more beyond the basics.
Retiring in Hawaii need not just be a pipe-dream. You might be able to make it work. There is a lot of information on this site at the “Moving to Hawaii” link at the top of every page. If you’re considering moving to the islands and have any questions – feel free to leave any question for us in the comments section just below and we’ll do our best. We don’t know everything, but a lot of easy questions about moving to and retirement in Hawaii get answered when you leave them in the comments.