Retiring In Hawaii: Pros and Cons (Part 8)

003If you asked us for the main reason we want to retire in Hawai’i, after the weather I think both my husband and I would say that Hawai’i will keep us busy. Not a tourist-y sort of busy, but an outdoors, active sort of busy. The good weather we enjoyed on our vacation made us want to be outdoors and doing stuff, whether it was taking a walk or sightseeing or sitting on the beach. After more than 20 years of staying indoors most of the year because of the gloom and rain, we can’t wait to take advantage of warmer weather and the opportunity to be outside more.

On the other hand, if you asked us what worries us the most about retiring in Hawai’i, after the high cost of living, we’d both say health care. While we have good health insurance thanks to my husband’s military service, like most seniors we will be soon be transitioning to Medicare, and it’s a reality that living on Kaua’i means our access to medical care might be more limited than what we’re used to.

The last two items in this series on positives and negatives of retiring in Hawai’i, taken from Toni Polancy’s great resource book, So You Want to Live in Hawai’i, touch on these two items that, for us anyway, are up at the top of our personal lists of pros and cons.

  • PRO: There is plenty to do. Beaches almost too many to count, golf courses and other outdoor recreation, hiking, senior centers, parks, year-round gardening and loads of other activities mean you’re never lacking for something to do in Hawai’i. Combined with Hawai’i’s good weather, it’s easy to find something you like or to try something new in order to stay active and healthy in body and mind. Plus, seniors receive a discount on many activities as well, making them affordable.
  • CON: Medical care is limited. Especially if you live on any island other than O’ahu, medical care and medical specialities can be either limited or not available at all. Seriously ill patients, or those needing more sophisticated procedures, sometimes must be airlifted to Honolulu. The cost of visits to O’ahu for medical care might be an expense that has to be built into the budget.

There is a hospital on Kaua’i and almost all medical specialities are represented, but definitely not all, and my husband and I realize that there might come a time when it would make sense for us to move to O’ahu in order to take advantage of the availability of health care services there, including Trippler Medical Center. But, we’re also hoping that staying active longer means that we will stay healthier longer as well, and able to stay on Kaua’i.

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