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Independent Living in Hawaii

A year-round warm climate with stunning natural beauty and high-quality medical care make Hawaii one of the most desirable states to retire to in the United States. In the Aloha State, 10.3% of residents are aged 65 and over. This population of older adults has access to an abundance of activities and resources, especially for those who love the outdoors. Sandy beaches, lush rain forests and world-class golf are all complemented by good air quality.

Many of Hawaii’s seniors choose to live in independent living. Unlike assisted living facilities or nursing homes, these communities are designed for older adults able to take care of themselves and go where they please. The average cost for assisted living in Hawaii is $3,250 per month.

Families wanting to learn more about independent living in Hawaii can find valuable information in this guide. It includes cost comparisons with other states and links to resources that can make independent living more comfortable or affordable.

The Cost of Independent Living in Hawaii

When trying to decide how to pay for independent living, one of the first questions that comes up is "How much does it cost?" With the impact of inflation, it's more important than ever to have up-to-date information when making a financial plan for senior living. To help shed light on real senior living prices, Caring.com has compiled proprietary cost data from its network of over 75,000 senior living providers to offer insight into the average cost of independent living in Hawaii and its 2 cities.

The Cost of Independent Living in Hawaii's Top Cities

Location has a big impact on the price of independent living, even within the same state. While Honolulu’s costs average $4,830 per month, prices in Kihei are substantially lower at $3,811. Although there’s no data for other cities in Hawaii, California shows how prices in seaside cities can differ. Costs in San Diego are $3,679 and rise to $6,110 per month in San Francisco.

Hawaii

$4,274

Honolulu

$4,830

Kihei

$3,811

San Diego, CA

$3,679

San Francisco, CA

$6,110

Inflation's Impact on the Cost of Independent Living in Hawaii

Although Hawaii is one of the most expensive states for independent living care, it has not seen inflation-driven price increases from 2022 to 2023. The average cost actually decreased by 8% in that time, falling from $4,624 to $4,274. By contrast, the national average increased 5% to $2,955. 

Other states bordering the Pacific Ocean have also seen price increases. In Alaska, prices rose by less than 1%. California had a small increase of 2% and Oregon’s prices rose by 6%. In Washington, however, costs rose by a considerable 55%, demonstrating how location influences the effects of inflation.

Location2022 Cost (Historical)2023 Cost (Current)2024 Cost (Estimated)
Hawaii$4,624$4,274$4,552
U.S. Average$2,810$2,955$3,162
Alaska$4,509$4,485$4,724
Washington$2,292$3,552$3,783
Oregon$2,566$2,731$2,936
California$3,481$3,556$3,823

The Costs of Other Types of Senior Living

There are many senior living options for older adults in Hawaii, depending on the level of service they need and the amenities they want. Independent living is the most affordable at $4,274 per month. Assisted living and memory care offer more intensive levels of support and cost $6,039 and $7,271 respectively, and in contrast to independent living, those prices have increased significantly from 2022 to 2023.

Assisted Living

$6,039

Memory Care

$7,271

Independent Living

$4,274

Can You Use Medicare or Medicaid to Pay for Independent Living in Hawaii?

Unfortunately, you cannot use Medicaid and Medicare to help pay the monthly fee for residing in an Independent Living community. For seniors who need help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), there may be financial assistance programs available to help cover the cost of care in Independent Living. For more information about financial assistance for those who need a higher level of care, read our guide to Assisted Living in Hawaii.

Read on for more information about using alternative means to make Independent Living more affordable, such as retirement funds, the sale of a home, etc.

Paying for Independent Living in Hawaii

Several strategies can help pay for independent living in Hawaii. The homeownership rate in the Aloha State is nearly 59%, meaning many seniors can use their homes for funding. Families can realize this equity through a sale or renting. They can also take out a home equity loan or reverse mortgage, a popular option that allows families to keep a home while receiving monthly payments. Seniors who were able to save money during their working years may be able to cash out their investments, while others may have planned ahead by taking out a long-term care insurance policy. Cashing out a whole life policy is also possible. 

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Hawaii

There are many resources in Hawaii that assist seniors in their retirement. Caring.com has compiled information on local organizations, programs and agencies and categorized them into care types for easy reference.

Area Agency on Aging

Retirees can find support and advice on various senior-related issues from their local Area Agency on Aging. The agency provides advice on topics such as financial assistance programs, in-home care and long-term care planning. It also connects seniors and caregivers with community-based resources.<

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Hawaii Area Agencies on AgingThe Hawaii Agency and Disability Resource Centers manage Area Agencies on Aging throughout the state. Services are provided through County Offices on Aging as well as the Kauai Agency on Elderly Affairs. Programs include help with in-home chores, transportation, personal care and housing assistance with the goal of helping elderly residents to continue living in their own homes or community. Eligibility criteria include being 60 years or older, a resident of Hawaii, a U.S. Citizen or a legal alien.

Cash Assistance Programs

Cash assistance programs in Hawaii provide financial support to help low-income retirees remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Seniors and caregivers can apply for tax rebates and reductions, discounts on vital services and help covering the cost of heating and cooling their home.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Hawaii Lifeline Program800-234-9473The LifeLine Program offers a discount on landline or mobile telephone service, ensuring that participants can stay in contact with loved ones.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care and Senior Living

Whether living in their own home or in a senior living community, Hawaii seniors can find financial assistance from numerous local resources. These organizations help residents cover some of the costs associated with in-home or long-term care and connect them with other helpful community-based resources.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Hawaii Medicaid I/DD WaiverThe Medicaid I/DD waiver is Hawaii's 1915c Home- and Community-Based Waiver that the state and federal governments sponsor. It's intended for those with limited incomes and resources. This waiver pays for a wide range of personal care services, including: • Grooming • Housekeeping • Transportation • Meals • Medication administration • Bathing • Toileting • Dressing • Personal emergency response systems (PERS) • Skilled nursing

Food Assistance Programs

Local organizations help ensure elderly citizens have a balanced diet and receive essential vitamins and minerals to remain healthy. Through nutrition programs, congregate meals, home-delivered meals and food pantries, these programs help Hawaii seniors afford the nutritious food they need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Hawaii Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Hawaii promotes wellness by offering food benefits to low-income seniors in need. The government-funded program offers electronic benefit transfers that beneficiaries can use at food retailers across the state. The aim of these funds is to increase residents' grocery budgets, enabling them to prioritize buying quality and nutritional foods and snacks. Eligibility is determined based on household size and gross income.
Hawaii Meals on WheelsHawaii's Meals on Wheels provides healthy, home-cooked dishes for adults aged 60 and older with disabilities or limited mobility that prevents them from shopping for food or preparing nutritious meals. Costs for the program vary from zero to full price, depending on the ability to pay. Volunteers delivering food ensure seniors receive regular communication and safety checks to confirm their well-being. Seniors with transportation can socialize and eat at local centers, promoting wellness.

Free Used Medical Equipment

Due to the high cost of purchasing new medical equipment, several organizations in Hawaii collect lightly used medical devices such as wheelchairs, ramps and walkers and distribute them to local seniors and residents in need.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawaii (ATRC)808-532-7111ATRC allows individuals with disabilities to test assistive technologies free of charge to see which ones work best and provide the greatest benefit. The organization also offers training classes on the latest technologies. In addition, the ATRC provides financial aid for wheelchair vans.
Relay Hawaii Equipment Program (RHEP)808-847-9032RHEP provides relay equipment to seniors with communication challenges and those without access to any assistive equipment to keep them connected with family and friends. Training and installation are available at no extra cost. This equipment may include speech-to-speech services (STS) or hearing carry-over (HCO).

Home Repair and Modifications

Seniors and those with disabilities can access a variety of local resources to help them pay for home repairs and modifications. Programs in Hawaii have different eligibility criteria and often assist retirees by providing grants or loans.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Hawaii Weatherization Assistance ProgramWAP helps seniors on a budget lower their energy costs by updating the weatherization on their homes. This includes installing low-flow showerheads, CFL or LED lighting, advanced power strips, air conditioner replacement, solar water heaters, refrigerator replacement, insulation installation and window and door replacement.

Senior Engagement

Senior engagement resources and programs in Hawaii help older adults remain active and ensure they contribute to the community. Resources include wellness programs, volunteer opportunities, support groups and organizations that help residents connect with the community to live fulfilling lives.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Alzheimer's Association Hawaii Chapter800-272-3900As the Hawaii branch of the national organization, Alzheimer's Association Aloha works to advocate for local seniors and offers education and services to those impacted by Alzheimer's. Supportive services include educational workshops and support groups for seniors to connect with others who share their experiences.

Social Security Offices

Social Security offices in Hawaii help seniors and disabled people access the benefits they're entitled to. Older adults can contact their local office for information about receiving retirement benefits, disability allowance and Supplemental Security Income.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Hawaii Social SecuritySocial Security is a source of income available to retirees and people who can no longer work because of a disability. The money for Social Security comes from a payroll tax levied on employers, employees and self-employed individuals. When you retire, you'll receive monthly payments based on how much you earned when you were working.

Utility & Energy Bill Assistance

Low-income seniors who are struggling to meet the costs of maintaining their homes can find support from organizations that offer assistance with utility and energy bills. Hawaii retirees could also qualify for emergency funding programs if they're in danger of losing utility services due to unpaid invoices.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Hawaii Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)Seniors who find it financially challenging to pay their home energy bills can apply for help once a year through the Hawaii Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This state-wide program provides emergency assistance to pay heating and cooling bills. LIHEAP provides either an energy credit for eligible seniors or an energy crisis intervention for those at risk of utility disconnection due to nonpayment.

Veteran's Services

Hawaii retirees who have served in the U.S. military can find support from local veteran services. These offices and organizations help vets access the benefits they're eligible for and provide advice and information on a variety of issues.

Program NamePhone NumberDescription
Hawaii VA Benefits and Health CareSeniors who served in the armed forces may qualify for benefits through the Hawaii VA Benefits and Health Care program. This veterans services program provides health care and financial aid to veterans. Some older veterans may also qualify for retirement income. The main medical center and regional benefit office are in Honolulu, but there are clinics and centers in other parts of the state.

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Caring.com

Caring.com is a leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We offer thousands of original articles, helpful tools, advice from more than 50 leading experts, a community of caregivers, and a comprehensive directory of caregiving services.

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial, professional, or medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. By using our website, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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