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Top 25 Hawaii Retirement Alternatives in the World

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In this article, we will take a look at the Top 25 Hawaii Retirement Alternatives in the World. You can skip our detailed analysis of retirement of the US citizens, and go directly to the Top 5 Hawaii Retirement Alternatives in the World.

Covid-19 Pandemic has left devastating impact on life all around the world. The retirement scenario in the US is no different. The “Great Retirement” has led to as much as about 2 million more retirees than what had been predicted by the Federal Reserve economic model. To top it off, the baby-boomer generation has reached its retirement age and thus, is leaving the current work force. However, the rate of new young entrants in the labor force is slower than the rate for retirement, whose wages play a significant role in maintaining social benefits of the retirees. Given all these factors, the strain on Social Security and Medicare programs is mounting. A recent Gallup survey also points to a gloomy future retirement view, held by about 43% of non-retirees. A report by Social Security Trustees provides validation for this pessimistic outlook. According to the report, there is a possibility of the trust funds depleting, by the year 2033, leading to cuts for all concerned parties. In the wake of such conditions, the US citizens are bound to make calculated decisions regarding their choice of retirement places around the world.

Abroad or the States?

US retirees generally plan on moving away from their current abode once they say farewell to work. A 2022, US Census report indicated 622,200 people — aged 65 and older — changed their states. In their quest for a comfortable lifestyle after years of hard work, they factor in multiple variables before making one of the most important decisions of their lives. Some of these include inexpensive and good quality health care, low cost of living overall, tax incentives, comfortable weather, and last but not the least, pleasant and beautiful surroundings.

Hawaii is one of the most famous places that people choose to settle in after retirement. However, the island is a double-edged sword. While the tropical setting is definitely paradise on earth with a luxurious lifestyle, the cost of living is also out of reach for most people. With the expected cost of $121,228 annually, it is one of the most expensive retirement options in the country. The variation for easy retirement between other different states is also estimated at $66,000. Hence, the search for Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world.

Some of the best places to retire in the world includes Chile, Vietnam, Indonesia and Romania. They are not only easy on the purse but also provide safety and security. In general, the picture of lying relaxed on a luxurious beach site, sipping exquisite refreshments, is associated with the idea of loads of money.  Well, as it turns out, this can actually become a reality, in various parts of the world, without the need for a substantially full pocket. The Caribbean islands, for instance, are some of the cheapest places that can prove as financial safe-havens for the US retirees. The best places to retire in the Caribbean includes some of the most stunning islands like Grenada, Dominic Republic, and The Bahamas, among many more. Therefore, it is not very difficult to find some of the best Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world.

Securing Financial Status Anyway

While there are many places that provide Hawaii alternatives to retirees around the world with affordable cost of living, it is nevertheless prudent to ensure financial strength, especially given the altering circumstances worldwide. As it turns out, about 45% of the US workers are of the opinion that they will not be able to save around $1million, which about 32% of US workers believe they would need to retire comfortably, and about 56% believe that they are lagging behind their target for retirement savings.

The US retirement system was awarded C+ by the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index, 2021. The Natixis Investment Managers 2021 Global Retirement Index also placed them on the 17th place. In contrast, many other developed nations like Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, and Switzerland, among others, were able to secure a higher score. In spite of a large number of $39 trillion reserved for old age by the end of 2021, these world rankings are certainly food for thought. Many people without a workplace retirement plan has been declared as one of the reasons. However, there are many firms in the US who are conscious of the rights of employees and provide world-class retirement plans. A few amongst these include big names like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM), Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN), and Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL).

Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE: DVN) provides an “enhanced defined contribution” plan where the employee has the option to give-up the 401(K) and conventional pension system and participate in this new plan. Here Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE: DVN) will put-in 8, 12 or 16 percent of the employee’s salary, notwithstanding the contribution of the employee. Furthermore, they will also match-up 100% for up-to 6% in case of employees who are making a contribution.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is also one of the top companies in the US, providing the best retirement plans. Their offer makes a match-up of 50%, up-to 6% of an employee’s wages. In addition, the workers are eligible for the plan immediately on joining and become 100% vested likewise. More than 87% of Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) employees are part of the retirement plan.

Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL), a more than 200 year old company, has adapted to the needs of their employees over the years and now provide a fairly competitive savings and investment plan. The employee pour into this plan 15% of their pay, tax deferred. The company then matches 50% of up-to 6% of the employee’s contribution. Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL) also provides their retirees with a health-insurance plan, paid solely by the company with the help of preferred stock.

General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM) is also one of the US companies that provide pension plans. With more than 200,000 employees, the company offers a 4% contribution up-to a 4% match from the employee.

Top 25 Hawaii Retirement Alternatives in the World

Top 25 Hawaii Retirement Alternatives in the World

Top 25 Hawaii Retirement Alternatives in the World


In order to compile the list of the Top 25 Hawaii Retirement Alternatives in the World, we have looked up places that are like Hawaii, but are cheaper than Hawaii. Then we use a scoring system based on the number of times each place appeared on a source. For this reason, we have used a total of 5 (1,2,3,4,5) sources. Each place got 2 points every time it appeared on our list of sources.

The scores were totaled, and places were ranked from the lowest to the highest scores. For places with the same scores, tie-breaking was done based on the population density (people per mi2). The idea is that with low population density the retirees would be able to experience the beautiful islands to their full potential without the disadvantage of a overcrowded feeling. Furthermore, a lower density would allow the conservation of the natural resources and landscapes for a longer period of time, thus, maintaining their original charm. Out of two places with the same scores, those with a lower population density were awarded 0.1 points. Similarly, three places with the same scores were awarded 0.2 points for the lowest population density, 0.1 points for the second lowest population density, and so on.

For cost of living, we relied International Living, Numbeo and Global Citizen Solutions. The figures for the monthly cost for a single person without rent was taken and then the rent amount was added to obtain total cost of living.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that uses a consensus approach to identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The website tracks the movement of corporate insiders and hedge funds. Our top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 stock index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). So, if you are looking for the best stock picks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

While the prospect for extensive search relating to pros and cons of multifarious viable retirement options might seem daunting to some, we cut the leg-work for you and present a list.

Top 25 Hawaii Retirement Alternatives in the World

25. Maldives

Insider Monkey score: 2.0

Located in the Indian Ocean and comprised of 1,192 majestic islands, Maldives is one of the most stunning places to retire. Their beaches with exquisite sandbanks and resorts are the best way for relaxing in a luxurious style. Furthermore, experiencing nautical adventures through multifarious sports is not just restricted for the agile and dare-devils.

Catamaran Sailing provides the opportunity to explore the beautiful turquoise oceans on stable boats. The island is somewhat more populated as compared to other islands, but still a viable option. Add into the mix the low living costs and you find one of the perfect Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world. The living cost is estimated around $1,700 with 1 bedroom apartment rented in the city center.

24. Mauritius

Insider Monkey score: 2.1

Dubbed as “the jewel of the Indian Ocean”, Mauritius is a true hot-spot for expats. Strong amongst the various reasons is the low living cost as compared to other places around the world. An individual can maintain an average lifestyle with as little as $1,018 per month with a one bedroom rented apartment in the city center. Beautiful surroundings, made of clear water, green mountains and white-sand beaches are some of its scenic attractions. In addition, affordable accommodations and food, amazing weather, friendly people and great healthcare facilities are some amenities of life that one desires for peacefully whiling away time after retirement. If that is the agenda then Mauritius is definitely one of the top Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world.

23. Philippines

Insider Monkey score: 2.2

Philippines is one of the top retirement spots. With an array of 7000 islands, the place is a veritable resource of constant adventures and exploration. Beautiful beaches and mountains are not only eye-pleasing but also act as a catalyst for relaxing and enjoying natural pleasures of this world. Their culture is inviting and with comfortably warm weather, friendly locals and low living costs, Philippines is a top Hawaii retirement alternative in the world. A couple can live a fully luxurious life, right in the hub of the city, in $2,285.

22. Dominica

Insider Monkey score: 2.3

Retirees looking for a warm, friendly culture that would quickly establish them as one of their own, will find Dominica perfect for their needs. This Caribbean Island is an amalgamation of low living costs (a single person with an apartment in the city can live on $1,160), tax advantages, security, and moderate healthcare with scenic beauty. The low population density can help stretch the island’s resources for a longer period of time, making  it even more attractive as a potential settlement place. Thus, in our list of top Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world, Dominica deserves a spot.

21. Fiji

Insider Monkey score: 2.4

Known for their beaches, mountains, beautiful warm weather that allows outdoor activities, and rain-forests, Fiji has been hailed as very attractive for expats. Their cultural festivals are a sure way of relaxing. In addition, affordable public transport can facilitate easy exploration of the island. The cost of living amounts to about $1,150 for one person living in a one-bedroom apartment, located in the city center. The population is low enough to keep the place from getting over-crowded, even in the event of a surge of tourism. Hiking and biking, for the physical fitness conscious people, is an added attraction. Fiji is definitely one of the top Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world.

20. Penang, Malaysia

Insider Monkey score: 4.0

As a potential retirement spot, Penang has many attributes. English is spoken extensively and this allows an easier transition for settlement in a foreign setting. The cost of living is low enough to let a couple live comfortably within $1,500-$2,500 per month, whilst maintaining a first-rate beach-view house.

The retirees can further benefit from tax-free policy of pension and social security. Situated in the middle of Southeast Asia, Penang is strategically placed for quick travel around other beautiful places that are perfect for vacations like Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Given such facilities, it is no wonder that Penang makes one of the top Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world.

19. Malta

Insider Monkey score: 4.1

If retirees are looking to spend the rest of their days enveloped with historical buildings reminiscent of major cultures of this world — Romans, Arabs, French and British — then they do not need to look further. Although, Malta is a small archipelago in the central Mediterranean Sea, it is a hub of diverse culture. The official English language makes it a convenient spot for most expats from around the world. A comfortable weather, dreamy country farmhouses and delightful restaurants make it one of the most enjoyable places. Add into the mix a low living cost — a couple can live comfortably in $2,600 per month and affordable health system, as well as low crime rate and you have one of the top Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world.

18. Bali, Indonesia

Insider Monkey score: 4.2

Where Bali is concerned, Tropical life lovers are in for a treat. With more than 17,500 islands, Bali can provide the retirees a first-rate experience of lazy, comfortable days around extensive beaches, spas and green mountain ranges. Friendly natives and warm cultural inclusiveness can help ease in to the place with minimum anxieties. This Indonesian island provides a low cost of living (around $1,900 per month for a couple) while still making a luxurious lifestyle attainable. As an alternative to Hawaii, Bali definitely makes it to the list.

17. Curaçao

Insider Monkey score: 4.3

As one of the Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world, Curaçao, is one hundred-percent in the running. A low living cost where a single person can enjoy the island in $1,725, while living in an apartment situated in the city center, and various tax benefits cover the financial attractions of this Caribbean island. It is also a source of various activities like windsurfing, kite-surfing and sailing as well as amazing weather conditions throughout the year. The beaches here are usually low in people as compared to other islands, allowing a higher chance for some private and peaceful time. Their close ties with Netherlands have been very beneficial in fostering a level of ease and comfort on the island. It is also home to varying cultures like Dutch, African, and Jewish, thereby, exposing one to a more diverse experience.

16. Puerto Rico

Insider Monkey score: 4.4

Puerto Rico is a favorite place for retirees, as can be witnessed by many retirement communities on the island. This might, in part, be due to the island being a territory of the US and therefore, no residency permits are required to make the move. Known as the “Land of Enchantment”, the place is a veritable hub of rum production, making high-quality wine affordable. The living cost overall is also quite low, amounting to $2,187 with an apartment situated in the city center. The temperatures, as an added benefit, are also comfortably warm.

15. Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Insider Monkey score: 4.5

For people looking for an adventurous lifestyle, Phu Quoc is an ideal location. The beautiful trails there takes one along a stimulating journey through scenic jungles and coral reefs. It is also Vietnam’s largest island with around 20,000 people. Despite certain hurdles along the way of permanent residency, about 200 expats have established roots there. As a possible Hawaii retirement alternative in the world, the cost of living — as low as $1210 for a couple — is among the deciding factors.

14. Saint Lucia

Insider Monkey score: 4.6

Saint Lucia is a much cheaper alternative to Hawaii, where housing and food is relatively inexpensive. A single person requires between $1,500- $2,500 for comfortable living. This allows the adoption of a luxurious lifestyle. The stunning beauty would also automatically factor in for making this island a favorite retirement place. One can observe majestic waterfalls, rain-forests, and pitons. There are also many sporting activities for entertaining oneself, including zip-lining, bird-watching, hiking and sailing. The islanders are a bunch of friendly people and with English as a recognized language, expatriates can get comfortably ingrained in the society.

13. US Virgin Islands

Insider Monkey score: 4.7

US Virgin Islands is one of the most famous places for retirement. This is especially true for the case of the US residents, as it is a part of the country’s territory. They can enjoy a Caribbean lifestyle without having to go through the tedious process of permanent residency. Furthermore, the US citizens can also take advantage of Medicare on the island and live peacefully with a fairly low population density of the island. Expats can spend their leisure time mesmerized by the breathtaking beaches, historical buildings and wild-life areas. Therefore, we find US Virgin Islands in the list of top Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world.

12. Jamaica

Insider Monkey score: 4.8

Endowed with crystal-clear waters and white- sand beaches of the best of the Caribbean Islands, Jamaica, falls under upper-middle income places, providing a high standard of living for its residents. However, it is still a low cost island, where monthly cost for a single individual amounts to only $1,318, and that also with an apartment rented in the city center. Its gorgeous lush mountains, rain-forests and beaches are a perfect blend of scenery that people need to lay back and enjoy in their leisure time. The inhabitants are known for their welcoming attitude. The retirees can also partake in various entertainment activities, geared primarily for adults.

11. Ko Samui, Thailand

Insider Monkey score: 4.9

Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Ko Samui was once unconnected with the country due to lack of proper roads. Now it is a veritable paradise for people looking to retire in a low cost society, surrounded with scenic beauty. A couple can live in a very comfortable way in the range of $1,950-$2,400. Their beaches are naturally exquisite and mountainous jungles are ample means of adventure for thrill seekers. Exotic birds, butterflies, and monkeys are some of the creatures of this planet that the expats are bound to observe. Thus, Ko Samui has become one of the top Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world.

10. Mallorca, Spain

Insider Monkey score: 5.0

Located in the Mediterranean Sea, it is an ideal retirement place for extroverts looking for forming a rich social life, resplendent with mountain-hiking, cycling, sailing, swimming, and diving. A couple can live comfortably in $2,500 a month. Furthermore, they have a great healthcare system and also provide relief to US residents from double taxation on income. Aside from these practical and financial incentives, the island has both natural beauty and historical grandeur to offer. The coastline is dotted with beautiful marinas, harbor and natural rock coves that can become a perfect spot for quality family time.

9. Antigua

Insider Monkey score: 5.1

One of the best retirement places in the Caribbean, Antigua also holds a special place in our top Hawaii retirement alternatives in the world. Ranging from stunning beaches, coral reefs, and clear blue waters to a perfect weather all year in, it is an amazing place to relax and enjoy the miracles of life.  The economy depends on tourism, agriculture, and banking. The cost of living as well as population density is low, increasing the standard of living. A single person can live very comfortably in a location at the center of the city in $2,100. The added benefit for expatriates is the widespread acceptance and use of English as a language, thereby, mitigating any communication issues.

8. Anguilla

Insider Monkey score: 5.2

Anguilla is not only one of the safest islands on the Caribbean, it also brings many monetary benefits and keep its residents enraptured with gorgeous white sand beaches and crystal-clear water. According to Saint James School of Medicine in Anguilla, the cost of living for a single person is estimated at $2,200. The population density is low, thus, preventing over-crowded areas and allowing a more relaxing environment. Retirees who are eager to delve into activities would find plenty to satisfy them, including golfing, sailing, and horse-back riding. The weather is comfortably warm and food options abundant. Thus, Anguilla makes as a viable retirement alternative to Hawaii.

7. Honduras

Insider Monkey score: 5.3

As a famous diving and retirement destination, Honduras, is an affordable island where a couple can establish a well-off lifestyle for between $2,000 – $2,500 per month. Mesoamerican Reef is the hot-spot for a top-rate scuba class and snorkeling. The prettiness of the island is enhanced with colorful traditional villages found intermittently along beaches and idyllic rocky coves. It is an easy two-hour drive from the US and with English spoken freely on the island, the US expats are happy to shift here.

6. Crete, Greece

Insider Monkey score: 5.4

Crete, as a retirement alternative, is very enticing for expats. This can be attributed to its low cost of living — a couple can maintain themselves in as low as $1,800 a month, with the place also offering top-notch affordable medical care. Not only is Crete Greece’s biggest island, but it is also the 88th largest island in the world. With a robust local industry, agriculture and low population density, it is a veritable hub of activity, attracting retirees to settle down for a Greek life. Moreover, its stunning beaches and seaside taverns cannot be forgotten in order to capture a full experience of an idyllic island.

Click to continue reading and see our Top 5 Hawaii Retirement Alternatives in the World.

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Disclosure: None. Top 25 Hawaii Retirement Alternatives in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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