Retiring in Hawaii

1 min readLast updated March 30, 2023by Kate Morgan

Hawaii, a tropical paradise located in the Pacific Ocean, is a popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a beautiful environment with access to outdoor activities, cultural events, and a relaxed lifestyle. With its stunning beaches, lush forests, and laid-back vibe, Hawaii offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Hawaii had a population of approximately 1.4 million people, with over 19% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the top states with a large retirement population.

What age can you retire in Hawaii?

Like many states, Hawaii has no specific retirement age that is mandated by law. This means that individuals are free to retire whenever they choose, as long as they are able to financially support themselves. However, there are some age-related benefits and considerations for retirees in Hawaii:  

Why do people retire to Hawaii?

  • Beautiful environment: Hawaii is known for its natural beauty, from its stunning beaches to its lush forests. Retirees can enjoy living in a beautiful environment that offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and outdoor activities. 

  • Tropical climate: Hawaii has a warm tropical climate year-round, making it an attractive destination for retirees who want to avoid harsh weather conditions. 

  • Outdoor activities: Hawaii is home to numerous national parks, beaches, and hiking trails, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and surfing. 

  • Cultural scene: Hawaii has a rich cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The state hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Merrie Monarch Festival, the Hawaii International Film Festival, and the Honolulu Festival. 

What puts people off retiring to Hawaii?

  • Cost of living: Hawaii's cost of living is generally higher than the national average, which could be a concern for retirees on a fixed income. Housing and healthcare costs, in particular, are higher than in many other states. 

  • Isolation: Hawaii is a group of islands, which can make retirees feel isolated from the mainland United States. 

  • Natural disasters: Hawaii is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis, which could be a concern for retirees living in certain areas. 

Best places to retire in Hawaii

If Hawaii is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in: 

  1. Honolulu: As the capital city of Hawaii, Honolulu offers a mix of urban amenities and natural beauty. Retirees can enjoy exploring the city's many historical and cultural attractions, such as Pearl Harbor, Iolani Palace, and the Bishop Museum. The city also has many parks and green spaces, including Kapiolani Park, which offers walking paths and views of Diamond Head. Honolulu is also home to many senior-friendly communities and services, including assisted living facilities and transportation services. 

  2. Maui: With its stunning beaches, scenic drives, and lush rainforests, Maui is a popular retirement destination. The island offers a range of recreational activities, such as hiking, golfing, and snorkeling. Maui is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, with many galleries and museums to explore. The island has a number of senior-friendly communities and services, including health care facilities and senior centers. 

  3. Kauai: Often referred to as the "Garden Isle," Kauai is known for its natural beauty, including its stunning beaches, waterfalls, and scenic hiking trails. The island also has a laid-back and peaceful atmosphere, making it an ideal retirement destination. Kauai has a range of senior-friendly communities and services, including health care facilities and senior centers. 

  4. Big Island: The largest of the Hawaiian Islands, the Big Island offers a diverse range of landscapes, from lush rainforests to snow-capped mountains. The island is home to several national parks, including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which offers hiking trails and views of active volcanoes. The Big Island also has a number of senior-friendly communities and services, including health care facilities and senior centers. 

  5. Oahu's North Shore: Located on the north shore of Oahu, this area is known for its stunning beaches and laid-back lifestyle. Retirees can enjoy activities such as surfing, snorkeling, and hiking, and can explore the area's unique cultural heritage at sites like the Polynesian Cultural Center. The North Shore also has several senior-friendly communities and services, including health care facilities and senior centers. 

In conclusion, Hawaii has a lot to tempt potential retirees with its scenery and tropical climate but also be mindful of its isolated location and cost of living. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Hawaii, including property taxes, insurance, and living expenses, in order to make an informed decision about whether the state is the right choice for your retirement. 

Content writer

Kate Morgan

Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.