Retiring On Maui Can Be Done
Maui is one of the most desired locations for retirement in the world, but there’s a perception that it’s too expensive for retirees. On the contrary, with some planning and proper budgeting, retiring to the paradise island of Maui can be affordable to retirees on a fixed income of just $2,000.00 a month.
It won’t be easy and it might take a bit of adjusting to a different lifestyle, but it can be done. Let’s see how!
Housing. One of your biggest expenses is finding acceptable housing on a limited budget. But if you look closely and follow-up on every lead, you can find a nice, clean, furnished, one-bedroom apartment or condo for between $900.00 and $1,200.00, depending on different communities in various parts of Maui. It won’t have an ocean view and it might not be on the first floor, but a rental at no more than fifty percent of your budget is doable. Utilities are sometimes included. If not, electricity can be $75.00 a month.
Vehicle. You don’t need a vehicle, unless you are living upcountry or far from the bus line. I use the bus all the time, and it’s convenient, covers most of the island, and is only $2.00. It will save you a lot of money in insurance, safety inspections, license plates, monthly parking and continual maintenance. When you want a car – rent it! Set aside $100 – $150 a month for car rentals when you want to explore Maui.
Food. As a couple, my wife and I spend between $350.00 – $400.00 each month for food. We shop mostly at Costco, use coupons when we can, take advantage of specials at stores, and also eat a bit less. We mostly cook at home, use the crock pot a lot, and rarely eat-out at a restaurant. When we do go out to eat, it’s at a “local” place instead of the expensive Maui restaurants frequented by the tourists. Alcohol is not included.
Telephone, Cable and Internet. Oceanic and Hawaiian Telcom are very competitive and there’s “packaged deals” if you combine the three services together. $100.00 is acceptable.
Cellphone. Use just one cellphone with a national provider. Or consider Boost and pay-as-you-go. There’s no need for two cellphones or unnecessary phone costs, and you should not spend more than $50 a month for an unlimited plan.
Activities. Free. Take long walks on the beach, swim in the ocean, ride the bus to a great snorkel spot with homemade sandwiches for a picnic, join a Canoe Club (great physical activity with social element) start a hobby like photography, and volunteer at the many Maui non-profits that can use your energy, knowledge and time.
Clothes. You won’t need much, as the Maui lifestyle is simple and laid-back. Besides, you will most probably have a small closet and you’ll find you just don’t wear a big variety of clothes. Budget $75.00 a month.
Miscellaneous. You’ll, hopefully, have a few extra dollars each month with proper planning and adhering to a tight budget. But when you need something like kitchen utensils, go to the Salvation Army store. They will always have what you are looking for at a great price, and you’ll be helping a good organization. Keep $50.00 in the cookie jar for miscellaneous expenses.
Medical. I have not included this item in the budget. While it’s absolutely essential you have a good medical plan, many retirees are on Medicare and Medicaid or have a plan through their retirement program. With so many variables, it’s impossible to try and determine your exact medical costs.
Can you retire to Maui for under $2,000.00 a month? Absolutely, but it will take a good plan, some budgeting, and a bit of understanding that your life will be different from the past. The key to successfully living on Maui is being flexible, staying open to a new and different lifestyle and culture, and realize that you can easily have a good life on Maui with fewer possessions and material things.
Fun Things To Do On Maui!
Visit Honolua Bay when you’re on the west side of Maui, and maybe grab a pizza at Dollie’s. There plenty of activities on Maui and also some of the best burger places are in Lahaina Town. Don’t forget to make a trip to Haleakala Crater and snorkel at Black Rock or Airport Beach.
Looking for a great breakfast? Try The Gazebo in Napili. Do some shopping at Lahaina Cannery Mall, try some pizza in Lahaina Town at Prison Street Pizza, or go upcountry and have a great steak at Makawao Steakhouse.
Maui’s Top Attractions.
- Haleakala National Park lets you visit one of the most rare sights in the world at over 32,000 feet.
- The Road To Hana takes a full day but is one of the most famous drives in the world.
- One of the wettest and most beautiful valleys on all the Hawaiian islands is at Iao Valley.
- Visit 7 Sacred Pools (Ohe’o Gulch) past Hana on the far windward side of Maui.
- A “must-see” beach is Big Beach at Makena State Park on the southwest side of Maui, Hawaii.
- Lahaina Town & Banyan Tree on the west side of Maui is a historic whaling town with much to see.
- Stroll through gardens with over 45 varieties of lavender at the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm.
- One of Maui’s top-rated family attractions in the Maui Ocean Center.
- Maui Tropical Plantation offers rides through a tropical plantation and has a fun zipline.
- The Sugar Museum is located on Hawaii’s largest working sugar factory.
- Tedeschi Winery produces wine from Maui-grown grapes at the Ulupalakua Ranch.
- Surfing Goat Dairy has world-class cheese made upcountry in a unique setting.
Maui’s Top Activities.
- See a unique perspective of Maui with a zipline adventure with Piiholo Ranch Adventures and Skyline Eco Adventures.
- See Molokini or the remote stretches of the Kanaio Coast with Red Line Rafting.
- Atlantis Submarines offers you the only underwater tour adventure on Maui that the whole family can enjoy.
- To rent snorkel equipment on Maui, go to Snorkel Bob’s or Boss Frog’s.
- Want to see another Hawaiian island? Go with Expeditions to the island of Lanai.
- There’s nothing like seeing Maui from a helicopter and Blue Hawaiian may be the best of Maui.
- Looking to jet ski? Jet Ski Maui is a seasonal activity but is a lot of fun even for beginners.
- Sunset dining on Maui gives you an unforgettable experience, and the Maui Princess is the boat to be on.
- Want to parasail while on Maui? UFO Parasail on Kaanapali Beach has been doing it longer than anyone.
- Bike down the Haleakala volcano for an amazing experience with Haleakala Bike Company.
- Trilogy offers one of the best excursions on Maui with several different daily tours.
- Enjoy The Road To Hana in a luxury vehicle with The Maui Touring Company.
- Go with the whale experts at Pacific Whale Foundation. They offer a wide variety of daily excursions.
- Wanting to go horseback riding on Maui? Go with Pony Express Tours for the best experience.
- Go sportfishing out of Lahaina Harbor with Start Me Up.
- Captain Steve’s Rafting Adventures is the top dolphin and whale tour company on Maui.
- Warren and Annabelle’s magic show is one of the best entertainment values on Maui.
- For the best luau on Maui, go to the Old Lahaina Luau in Lahaina Town on the west side of Maui.
BONUS – Free Maui Hula Shows!
At The Lahaina Cannery Mall on the west side of Maui, there are free hula shows. The Polynesian Dancers perform at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. The Keiki Hula Show (children performing) is at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Maui’s Best Luau!
- One of the most popular and highly-rated luaus is the Old Lahaina Luau on the west side of Maui.
- The Feast At Lele is an oceanfront luau at 505 Front Street in Lahaina Town.
- The best family luau is the Kaanapali Beach Luau.
- Staying in Wailea? Consider the Wailea Marriott Luau and The Grand Wailea Luau.
Big Wave Taffy on Maui!
Take a look at our delicious Hawaii Flavors of salt water taffy – our salt water taffy is soft and creamy and it makes a great gift item, too. The taffy is sold at many stores on Maui, and you can also order on-line with Big Wave Taffy.