So you want to retire in Hawaii I

Living in Hawaii

I retired from my government job last May, 2010 and moved to Hawaii in July, 2010. I came bringing my wife and her 4 four legged critters in tow. I thought that I would relay a little information about the transition while the memories remain fresh and does not fade with the list of other experiences that I have forgotten over time. While I have learned a little about the other islands, my specialty is the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Cost of Living in Hawaii: Hawaii is expensive-

That is true, as all your friends and associates have told you. But the term ‘expensive’ is relative depending on what part of which island you visit or reside and the life style that you want to have. But, I will tell you that the cost of living is higher than one would find in say, Muscogee, Oklahoma. We live in an area where the Consumer Price Index is only slightly higher than the U.S. average. If you want to live in Waikiki in a penthouse suite, of course, you need to be prepared to pay for the luxury. All of the rest of us have much more modest accommodations.

Groceries: I started biting my nails and perspiring profusely whenever I accompanied my spouse into a grocery store. I thought that I would ‘vapor lock’ for sure. Prices are outrageous by my Colorado standards. I dragged my calculator and later my laptop along with me to tabulate prices and give me some sense of reassurance and control, coming up with a total before we reached the check out. I could probably safely add 25% to the cost of a sack of groceries that I would normally acquire on the mainland. I knew that this had to be brought under control quickly before we found ourselves broke. We found that in the town of Hilo, the only sizable community on our side of the rock, that we could obtain beef products (wholesale) in bulk which are of high quality with the cost per entrée being considerably less than any meat products purchased at the commercial retail outlets. We go to a fish market and shop for fish products at competitive prices, with the fish generally caught on the very day we purchase. You just need plenty of freezer space and you’re good to go. We get our fresh vegetable at a similar wholesale outlet, again with quality, selection and price greatly skewed to our advantage.

Utilities: Electricity costs are around up to 60 to 70 percent more per kilowatt hour than what you could experience on the mainland so be prepared for that jolt. Sakes, all we are running are washers and dryers, an electric stove and a few ceiling fans, to circulate air and keep the mold away. The cost of water is comparable to what I paid in Colorado, approximately $50.00 per month. There are no natural gas lines and since we do not require neither air conditioning nor heating in this climate, the money we save there is a tradeoff. Gasoline is expensive, about a dollar more per gallon then in CONUS. Fortunately, since we are retired, we are not on the road a great deal and then only to go shopping. By planning our trips, we compensate for this disadvantage. We got a nice package deal for our telephone, cable television and internet service which, believe it or not, is actually less expensive then what I paid in Colorado.

Taxes: While there is a state tax, retirement pension/annuity income is exempt. This of course is a positive.

In succeeding installments I will touch on other topics related to settling in the AlohaState permanently such as:

Flora and Fauna

Employment/the Economy

General Environment/People

Pros and Cons:

I will have a few photos taken with the ‘Kodak’ in and around our immediate environment that I can share with you.

More by this Author


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

Cool hub. Hawaii is on my list of places to visit before I die...not sure about retirement there. Thanks for the useful info from your personal experience. My nephew, currently a marine, is living there and loves it. Hopes to buy a house or beach spot somewhere. Nice to meet you. Welcome to hubpages.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Thanks, Denise for your interest. I would be more than happy to share our experiences here with you and hopefully they may prove to be of some benefit. We will continue to confer, regards, Credence2

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

That's great, Credence. My sister and I are planning a trip in October. I'll let you know if it materializes for us. She's been there before, but I'm excited to be finally visiting it.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Please do, we wiil look forward to your visit. Let us know if we can be of assistance.

Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

Would love to retire in Hawaii, looks, feels and sounds very similar to our Torres Islands around Australia...hopefully once I will visit and can compare:)

Thank you for stopping by on my site my dear 'hubbing friend' and all the best with your writing:)

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Beata, so kind of you to read and comment. Don't see you around much, so I wanted to say hello. I am sure that you have many areas in your South Pacific environment that would be comparable to what we have here. I will always extend a hearty Aloha, if Hawaii is ever in your travel plans. Keeping the channel open, Cred2

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

I enjoyed fantasizing about having my garden and fruit trees going. I can catch my own fish and like that. You'll only know I'm there when I snore.

saitam profile image

saitam 4 years ago from Lisbon

Nice hubs about Hawai. Very interesting to know about a place that is far away for me.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, WD, all of what you suggest is great until you have to pay $7.50 for friggin box of cereal. You need a pretty good nest egg, this place is very expensive.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hello, saitam, I am delighted you enjoyed the articles and look forward to your telling us more about Portugal. We have to be about 10 hours apart on the clock.

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