After working for several decades, many people look forward to their retirement. The thought of relaxing all day, exploring nature, basking under the sun, and doing activities you love most for the rest of your life seems like a dream come true. And what better place to retire than the tropical islands of Hawaii.
With some of the best beaches in the world, scenic locations, and fun adventures, Hawaii is undoubtedly one of the most popular retirement spots. However, there is more to its warm sunny skies and beautiful white sands. So, if you’re thinking of moving to The Islands of Aloha, there are several pros and cons to keep in mind.
The Pros of Retiring in Hawaii
1. Incredible Weather All Year Long
One of the best reasons to retire in Hawaii is that you’ll find good warm weather all year long. The temperature peaks at an average of 84 °F (28.9 °C) in hotter months and 79 °F (26.1 °C) in cooler months. What’s even more intriguing is that the islands have different sub climates based on the region’s elevation and position.
Some areas have microclimates such as tropical continuously wet, tropical monsoon, temperate summer dry, dry arid, and more. So if you are looking at retiring to something a little colder, you can journey up to the higher elevations like Upcountry Maui. If you love the warm weather, then you can move near the coast and get a Maui beachfront house or condo.
2. Relaxing Culture
After working hard for so many years, when retiring you’re probably wishing for a laid-back and slower pace of life. One where you can relax and enjoy the things you love to do most. If this is your dream retirement life, then Hawaii should be one of your top destinations. The moment you step foot on the island, you’ll be greeted into the inviting atmosphere with a lei. When you sit outside your Maui oceanfront estate or condo, you’ll be engulfed by the calming ocean breeze. You can instantly feel the tension leaving your body as you witness the picturesque horizon, the lulling waves, and the smiles of the residents.
3. Plenty of Outdoor Activities
Now that you have plenty of free time on your hands, this is your chance to explore more in life. And Hawaii is one of the best places to do this. The island offers plenty of water activities from swimming, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddleboarding. If you’re tired of the water, there are thrilling ATV rides, world-renowned golf courses, and mountain trails to explore. Depending on the season, you can also try windsurfing and whale watching.
4. Scenic Locations Everywhere You Look
If you appreciate the beauty of nature, then you’ll enjoy living in Hawaii. Hawaii has some of the best beaches in the world, making it a paradise for those who want to retire. But the island is more than its crystal-clear waters, white sands, and exquisite sunsets and sunrises. West Maui, Oahu, Kauai, and the other major islands have spectacular mountains and lush forests waiting for you to trek and explore. There are fields with vibrant colors and floral fragrances wafting in the air. No matter where you look, you’ll be amazed by the scenic view.
5. Relatively Low Crime Rate
Checking the crime rates of a place is crucial since it could affect the comfort and peace of your daily life. Retiring in a dangerous city would make you feel stressed and scared every minute of the day. The good news is that Hawaii has a relatively low crime rate. It ranks 1st in crime correction and 25th place for public safety. There are only minimal issues with armed robberies and homicides. Moreover, there are neighborhood watch programs so you can rest easy when you retire in your luxury real estate in Maui.
The Cons of Retiring in Hawaii
1. High Cost of Living
Since Hawaii is extremely popular with tourists, living anywhere on the island is going to be pricey. The 2020 data from Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), revealed that Hawaii has the highest cost of living with an index of 199.1. If you decide to move to The Aloha State, then you would need to save a lot of money to live comfortably.
2. Not Tax-Friendly to Some Retirees
Another downside of Hawaii is that it taxes certain kinds of retirement incomes. Depending on your situation, the state might not be tax-friendly for you. It doesn’t tax public pensions, but those who have a private pension need to pay full tax. Moreover, the state also taxes retirees with 401(k) or IRA retirement savings accounts. And since properties in Hawaii are quite expensive, you can also expect your annual taxes to increase.
3. Expensive to Travel Around
Aside from the expensive housing and food, transportation around the island and to other islands is also costly. Hawaii doesn’t have trains, subways, or trams, and only major islands have busses. Since there’s a lack of public transportation in The Islands of Aloha, you’ll be forced to buy or rent a car. Even if you have one, the state has some of the most expensive gas prices in the country.
4. Island Fever
One of the most challenging hardships that you might experience in Hawaii is isolation. If you choose to retire to The Aloha State, then you’ll be 2,400 miles away from California, more than 3,800 miles from Japan, and even 4,900 miles away from China. Because you’re located in the middle of the biggest ocean in the world, you might experience island fever and feel isolated.
5. Bugs and Critters Abound
Hawaii might not be the place for retirees who are squeamish against bugs and critters. There are a lot of geckos, spiders, ants, centipedes, mosquitoes, and cockroaches on the island. And if you’re constantly opening windows or doors to enjoy the weather or view, then creepy crawlies might enter your home and ruin your day.
With its beautiful sceneries, fantastic weather, and fun activities, Hawaii can be a paradise for retirees. The island offers many opportunities for you to safely relax and enjoy life. However, retiring and moving to Hawaii might not be a smart choice for some. The state has a high cost of living that could hurt your retirement fund. Furthermore, it’s tremendously isolated from other countries. But if you’re wealthy and love living an adventurous life, then Hawaii will be a wonderful place for you to retire.