When most of us think of Hawaii, we think of a tropical paradise. While Hawaii is the perfect place for a honeymoon or vacation, it’s also a great place to live—and retire. The reasons are many. One benefit of living in Hawaii is the exceptionally steady, warm climate—the temperature is usually in the mid-70’s to 80’s year-round, with cool sea breezes no matter where you are.
Hawaii has some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Hawaii has a landscape of stunning green cliffs and rainforests as well as gorgeous beaches a short drive or walk away from anywhere you live. Whether relaxing by the beach is more your style or you’d rather be hiking, camping, or snorkeling in some of Hawaii’s gorgeous coral reefs, there’s plenty to do outdoors.
Hawaii’s major drawback is the expense. Because it’s a highly desirable place to live, real estate is expensive—especially around Honolulu. Another factor driving up costs is the fact that Hawaii is extremely remote, so most consumer goods have to be shipped in from the mainland. Because of this, you’ll find higher prices in Hawaii’s stores than in most other states in the US.
Hawaii’s top marginal income tax rate is 9% and its sales tax is 4%. It offers some tax exemptions for those over age 65 on income taxes—and if you’re blind, deaf or disabled, you can claim an exemption of $7,000. Hawaii doesn’t tax retired military pay, and broad exemptions are given to those who receive disability benefits from the military.
Property and land in Hawaii is taxed at 100% fair market value—which can often be quite high. However, there’s a homestead exemption of $12,000 in most of the state and $40,000 in the county of Honolulu. If you’re aged 60-69, you can claim double the homestead exemption; by age 70 or older, you’re eligible for 2.5 times the homestead exemption. In Honolulu, you get slightly different increased exemptions depending on age—up to 3 times the standard amount at age 70 or older.
Senior living in Hawaii can take many forms—from assisted living and independent living communities in cosmopolitan cities to sleepy seaside villages. Here’s an overview of Hawaii’s islands.
The largest and youngest island in the Hawaiian chain, Hawai’i is the one with the volcanoes. It’s also extremely rural here—some areas still don’t have electricity. Even so, Hawai’i has a lot to offer—from gorgeous seaside towns to an astonishing climate variety—eleven of the thirteen climates found throughout the world are found here. There’s also exceptional snorkeling, unspoiled natural beauty, and one of the world’s only continuously active volcanoes.
Oahu is the home of the state’s most populous city, Honolulu. It tends to be more developed, but even Oahu has its rural areas and unspoiled beaches. Living in Honolulu is fun and full of activities, with nightlife, shopping, dining, cultural entertainment, and more.
Maui attracts many celebrities looking for second homes. Less developed than Oahu, it still has the feel of a resort—with stunning beaches, luxurious accommodations, and weather that’s hotter and drier than most of the other islands.
Kaua’i is secluded and rural, with a single small town and a very slow pace of life. If you’re looking for a relaxing place to retire away from the rest of the world, this is it.
Originally the island’s main inhabitants were lepers, banished here from the rest of the islands. Today, you’ll find tranquil village life, gorgeous scenery, and some of the best ocean kayaking in the world.
The smallest and least populated island, Lanai’i nonetheless has a lot to offer. You’ll find luxurious resorts, championship-level golf, stunning beaches and plenty of outdoor activities.
If you’re looking for a stunning place to retire, you couldn’t do worse than Hawaii. Check out our listing of senior living and assisted living communities in Hawaii, and find the perfect retirement paradise for you.