If you have been to Hawaii Island and have said to yourself, “I could retire and spend the rest of my life here” you certainly would not be alone. With a growing amount of Baby Boomers in and heading into retirement age, LUVA Real Estate agents have seen quite an influx of retirees vs families and Millenials deciding to purchase a home or condo in West Hawaii.
Many of these new residents have saved to create a nest egg to live comfortably, or they are able to live off of investment income or pensions or some continue to work side jobs when they move here to keep the budget for travel and entertainment more fluid because of the notorious high cost of living in Hawaii.
Did you know that Hawaii was ranked #2 by Kiplings as the best state to retire to? The overall cost of living is high, but when ranked based on several factors that create a great lifestyle, Hawaii was right up there. The study favored states that are economically healthy and home to fit, active and relatively prosperous residents age 65 and over. Have you walked along Alii Drive? Folks in their sixties and seventies are routinely seen walking and running and the Pickleball courts are full!
Here are a few things to know about retiring successfully to West Hawaii from staying active, finding friendships, giving back to the community and saving money if you own a home!
1. Stay Active While Creating Community
Retiring here should not mean just not going to work any longer or taking a forever-break from the day to day slog you endured on the mainland. This is your time to find new friends, explore those passions you have been considering for years like art, music, dance, or sports and adventure. We have it all here in West Hawaii!
Outrigger Canoe Clubs
Hundreds of active retirees are members of the outrigger canoe clubs here in West Hawaii. From Waikoloa all the way to Honaunau, there are clubs you can join, both for competition or for fun! They do fundraisers and get together for potlucks, too. https://www.keauhoucanoeclub.com
There are quite a few places in Kona to practice Yoga. This is a community group to get connected with fellow Yogis!
Halau Kaeaikahelelani, located in Keauhou, puts on hula demonstrations and compete in events usually held at the Sheraton Kona. Open enrollment is in October 2019 and then will be closed for two years.
Hula is a great form of exercise, you can learn more about the Hawaiian culture and membership creates a deep sense of community.
You moved to an island with amazing reefs! Find fellow divers or learn to SCUBA. The local dive club offers discounts on dives for kamaaina!
PATH is a community-based, grassroots 501(c)(3) non-profit public access advocacy organization serving Hawaii County. They put on races, help clean up trails and come together to stay active in a myriad of ways.
Big Island Running Company offers three weekly training runs where you can meet active folks and train for races on the island or just stay in shape.
Have you wanted to learn to tango or shake it up with some salsa? There are three places you can learn, practice and enjoy ballroom dancing.
Dance Hawaii Ballroom Dance Club
Learn all the steps and moves and enjoy a few dance parties from local owners Carolan and Gil Ching.
Gertrudes Jazz Bar
This lively bar has dance classes and special events for ballroom dances as well as occasional paint and sips, wine tasting, musical jam sessions and karaoke.
The Elks Lodge
The Lodge has occasional dances and a very full entertainment calendar for members.
Giving back to the island and the community is not just a way to share Aloha its is also a way to stay vibrant yourself. There is a great need in our community for retirees to lend a hand, be a mentor, act as an advisor and more to many non-profit organizations in Kona. Here are just a few of the larger groups always looking for new energy!
Habitat for Humanity Hawaii Island
Build a home, help in the REStore, help put on the annual Gala, Habitat needs volunters to build homes all over the island to help people help themselves in becoming homeowners.
Hawaii Island Humane Society
From being a foster parent to helping to raise funds to continue their work of building a new shelter, if you love pets, you will find your happiness with this well run organization.
Donkey Mill Art Center
If you are an artist, this art center is the gem of our community in fostering the arts in the community and with children. Located up mauka, DMAC needs volunteers for their community outreach programs, camps, and fundraisers and classes. Or become a member and enjoy the amazing programs this arts organization brings to Kona each month.
IronMan World Championship
It’s the largest event in West Hawaii and our residents play host to thousands of athletes and their supporters each year in October when the championship takes place in Kona. Hundreds of volunteers are needed to run the race each year and its a great way to make friends and join in the excitement. A BIG Mahalo party is the thank you reward.
3. Eat Healthy And Meet The Farmers
One of the best things about moving to Hawaii Island is the ability to eat fresh from the land. You will have a chance to taste an amazing array of tropical fruits and vegetables and create communmarket. We have plenty!
Kona Keauhou Farmers Market
Saturdays 7:45 a.m. - Noon -Keauhou Shopping Center
Locally grown Hawaii Island products only, no crafts. Island grown produce and plants, 100% Kona Coffee, mac nuts, honey, eggs, organic greens, fruits, veggies, baked good and more.
Kailua Village Farmers Market (also known as Kona Farmers Market)-
Wednesdays through Sundays 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Across from Hale Halawai, corner of Alii Drive and Hualalai Road, Kailua-Kona Flowers and lei, mostly local produce, mac nuts, honey, coffee, Hawaiian crafts, soaps, etc.
Hooulu Community Farmers Market and Artisans Fair
Wednesdays 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa, 78-128 Ehukai Street
Local produce, fruits, and estate coffees. Local artists and original hand-crafted products from the island of Hawaii.
South Kona Fruit Stand
Mondays - Saturdays 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sundays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 84-4770 Mamalahoa Highway, between Mile Marker (MM) 103 - 104, Honaunau Tropical fruits, smoothies, juices, based goods, coffee, panini sandwiches.
Pure Kona Green Market
Sundays 9 a.m. - 2 p.m 82-6160 Hawaii Belt Road, Captain Cook
Formerly the South Kona Green Market, this local farmers and artists market was founded with the intention of “From the land - by our hand.” Only vendors that offer 100% grown or made in Kona (non-imports) are allowed to participate at this Sunday Green Market.
4. Take advantage of lower property taxes for residents over 60
Hawaii entirely exempts some types of retirement income (including Social Security retirement benefits and public pension income) but fully taxes income from private pensions and retirement savings accounts.
Single Home Exemption
When you buy a home in Hawaii to retire into, once you turn 60, you can start saving money on your property taxes. The law allows just one home exemption for any taxpayer. For instance, a husband and wife are not permitted an exemption of separate homes owned by each of them, unless they are living separate and apart, in which case they shall be entitled to one exemption, to be apportioned equally between each of their respective homes. Home Exemptions For Residents over 60 -
For those aged 60 to 69, the exemption amount is $80,000 -
For those 70 and older, the exemption amount is $100,000. -
To obtain the $80,000 or $100,000 exemption, the claimant must be 60 or 70 years of age on or before December 31, preceding the tax year.
How much will your taxes be? Check out this Hawaii tax calculator: https://smartasset.com/retirement/hawaii-retirement-taxes
If you are considering purchasing a retirement home or condo in West Hawaii, please call us at LUVA Real Estate and we can discuss your budget, where you would like to live and share with you some of our insights into making your retirement to Hawaii Island a success!