This article is fourth in a series on retirement hot-spots in Hawaii. In my previous articles, I talked about retirement communities within the city of Honolulu, elsewhere on Oahu, and on Maui, Molokai, and Lana’i. This article will focus on the Big Island.

If you’re looking for subsidized, low-income senior housing, read this section on affordable housing for seniors from my previous article, Senior Benefits & Programs In Hawaii. Whereas those subsidized housing programs require that your income (and sometimes assets) not exceed a certain amount, the housing communities covered in this series of articles have no such eligiblity requirements.


NOTE: All purchase prices listed are fee-simple, unless otherwise stated.

Hawi & Kapa’au

  • Location: Northeastern tip of the Big Island.
  • What it has to offer: Small-town community, picturesque, affordability, homes with ocean and mountain views, large agriculture-zoned home sites (for keeping horses and such), shops, restaurants, art galleries, Kamehameha Park (includes pool, tennis courts, gymnasium, and Golf Learning Center), Kohala Hospital, Kohala Historical Sites State Monument, Lapakahi State Historical Park.
  • Single family homes: Starting in the $200,000s.

North Kohala Subdivisions

  • Location: South of Hawi and slightly north of Kawaihae on the northern Kohala Coast.
  • What it has to offer: Oceanfront homes (Kohala By The Sea, Kohala Waterfront & Kohala Estates subdivisions), upcountry homes (Kohala Ranch subdivision), large home lots, panoramic ocean and mountain views, gated communities, Kawaihae Harbor, 83-acre Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site (ancient war temple), Pua Mau Place (botanical garden), Spencer Beach Park, shops and restaurants in nearby Kawaihae, Waimea (Kamuela), Hawi, and Kapa’au.
  • Single family homes: Starting in the $500,000s.
  • Waimea (also known as Kamuela)

    • Location: East of Kawaihae, in the north-central part of the Big Island.
    • What it has to offer: Cooler elevation (2,670 feet), some new home construction, affordability, cattle ranches and paniolos, small-town community but with many amenities: Waimea Country Club, restaurants, shops, Parker Ranch Shopping Center, North Hawaii Community Hospital, Kahilu Theatre, Parker Ranch, Parker Ranch Museum, Anna Ranch Heritage Center, Da Hana Ranch, Waimea Nature Park (Ula La’au).
    • Condos/townhomes: Starting in the $100,000s + monthly maintenance fee.
    • Single family homes: Starting in the $100,000s.
    • New home development: Luala’i at Parker Ranch – Starting in the $300,000s. 3- and 4-bedroom single family homes (1-2 stories high).
    • Mauna Kea Resort & Puako

      • Location: South of Kawaihae on the Kohala Coast.
      • What it has to offer: Oceanfront homes, resort community (including Hapuna Golf Course, Mauna Kea Golf Course, Seaside Tennis Club, Mauna Kea Spa by Mandara, Paul Brown Salon & Spa, shops, and restaurants), general store, Kauna’oa Beach and Hapuna Beach (2 of the island’s best), excellent snorkeling/diving, tidepools, very little rain, petroglyphs.
      • Condos/townhomes: Starting in the $500,000s + monthly maintenance fee.
      • Single family homes: Starting at $1.3 million in Mauna Kea Resort; starting in the $800,000s in Puako.

Mauna Lani Resort

  • Location: South of Puako on the Kohala Coast.
  • What it has to offer: Oceanfront homes, new home construction, resort community (including 2 golf courses, tennis courts, Mauna Lani Sports & Fitness Club, Mauna Lani Spa, Spa Without Walls, The Shops at Mauna Lani, and restaurants), Holoholokai Beach, walking trail, fishponds, petroglyphs.
  • Condos/townhomes: Starting in the $400,000s + monthly maintenance fee.
  • Single family homes: Starting at $1.8 million.
  • New home developments:
    • Kulalani at Mauna Lani – Starting in the $500,000s. 2- and 3-bedroom townhomes (2 stories high). Fully furnished, located on golf course fairways.
    • KaMilo at Mauna Lani Resort – Starting in the $700,000s. 3-and 4-bedroom single-family and paired homes (1-2 stories high). Complex includes a private 2-acre “Recreation Village” with fitness center, pool/spa, outdoor entertaining area, and barbecue pits.

Waikoloa Beach Resort

  • Location: Directly south of Mauna Lani Resort on the Kohala Coast.
  • What it has to offer: Oceanfront homes, some affordable homes, resort community (including 2 golf courses, tennis courts, Mandara Spa at Waikoloa, Kohala Spa, Queens’ MarketPlace, Kings’ Shops, restaurants, Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens), beaches, fishponds, walking trail, petroglyphs.
  • Condos/townhomes: Starting in the $200,000s + monthly maintenance fee.

Waikoloa Village

  • Location: East of Waikoloa Beach Resort, inland.
  • What it has to offer: Master-planned & family-oriented community, affordable homes, new home construction, Waikoloa Village Golf Club, Waikoloa Senior Center, Waikoloa Community Park, tennis courts, Waikoloa Stables, Waikoloa Highlands Shopping Center, restaurants, close to Waikoloa Beach Resort, lots of wind.
  • Condos/townhomes: Starting under $100,000 + monthly maintenance fee.
  • Single family homes: Starting in the $300,000s.
  • New home development: Sunset Ridge at Waikoloa – Starting in the $400,000s. 2- and 3-bedroom single-family homes (1 story high).

Hualalai Resort & Kukio

  • Location: South of Waikoloa Beach Resort, in northern Kailua-Kona.
  • What it has to offer: Oceanfront homes, luxury homes, resort community (including Kona Village Resort, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hualalai Golf Club, Kukio Golf & Beach Club, Hualalai Sports Club, tennis courts, Hualalai Spa, shops, restaurants), beaches, Kikaua Point Park, Kekaha Kai State Park, close to Kona International Airport.
  • Condos/townhomes: Starting at $1.2 million + $1,336 monthly maintenance fee. $225K, $32,300 resort membership dues.
  • Single family homes: Starting at $4.2 million.
  • New home development: Hali’ipua Villas at Hualalai – Starting at $2.25 million. Huge 3-bedroom townhomes (2 stories high). All homes have ocean views. Located at the Four Seasons Hualalai Resort.

Kailua-Kona

  • Location: In the middle of the leeward coast of the Big Island.
  • What it has to offer: Sunny & dry climate all year, new home construction, affordability, golf course homes, large-town amenities (several shopping centers, the only Costco on the island, other big-box stores, multi-plex movie theater), Big Island Country Club, Makalei Golf Club, walking path along scenic Ali’i Drive, several beach parks, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park, Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area, free Keauhou Honu Express Shuttle.
  • Senior residence: Regency at Hualalai – Offers independent living and assisted living services (including memory care for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia), but no intermediate care or skilled nursing care. Residents stay on a month-to-month lease. Monthly rent includes: Apartment housing, 3 meals/day, utilities, basic cable TV, daily trash removal, weekly housekeeping and linen service, scheduled transportation, 24-hour access to staff, personal care services (if needed), and vacations at another Regency Pacific residence. Amenities include: Outdoor pool/spa, exercise & recreation rooms, 24-hour coffee/tea lounge, media room & computer center, fitness & wellness programs, personal garden patches, recreational activities/outings, restaurant-style dining room, private dining room, and library. Pet-friendly!
  • Condos/townhomes: Starting at less than $100,000 + monthly maintenance fee.
  • Single family homes: Starting in the $200,000s.
  • New home developments:
    • Pualani Estates – Starting in the $300,000s. 3- and 4-bedroom single-family homes (1-2 stories high). Includes free appliance package.
    • Ali’i Heights Mauka – Starting in the $600,000s. 3-bedroom single-family homes (1 story high). Ocean views.

Keauhou & Kahalu’u

  • Location: South of Kailua-Kona on the Kona Coast.
  • What it has to offer: Oceanfront homes, golf course homes, resort community (including Kona Country Club, Keauhou Shopping Center, Island Slice Tennis Company, Kalona Spa, and Ho’ola Spa), Kahalu’u Beach Park (excellent snorkeling/diving spot). Nearby in Kealakekua and Captain Cook: Kona Community Hospital, Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park (excellent snorkeling, diving, and kayaking spot), Aloha Performing Arts Company, Kona Historical Society.
  • Condos/townhomes: Starting in the $200,000s + monthly maintenance fee.
  • Single family homes: Starting in the $300,000s.

Volcano & Pahala

  • Location: Southwest of Hilo, inland and toward the south shore of the Big Island.
  • What it has to offer: Affordable homes, cooler elevation (3,750 feet in Volcano), plenty of rain, small-town community, lush with trees and ferns, picturesque cottages and plantation homes, Volcano Golf & Country Club, Sea Mountain Golf Club, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Art Center, Volcano Winery, Pahala Park & Community Center, shops, restaurants, art studios, Ka’u Hospital, Punalu’u Beach Park (Black Sand Beach).
  • Condos/townhomes: Starting in the $100,000s + monthly maintenance fee.
  • Single family homes: Starting at less than $100,000.

Pahoa & Kapoho

  • Location: Southeast of Hilo, on the windward coast of the Big Island.
  • What it has to offer: Affordable homes, Big Island’s “hippie capital” (Pahoa), sunniest spot on the windward side of the island (Kapoho), some beach homes, lots of shops and restaurants, art galleries, public swimming pool, plant nurseries, papaya farms, several beaches, excellent snorkeling spots, Kapoho Tide Pools, Lava Tree State Park, MacKenzie State Park.
  • Single family homes: Starting at less than $100,000.

Hilo

  • Location: In the middle of the windward coast of the Big Island.
  • What it has to offer: Affordable homes, lush tropical landscape, lots of rain, large-town amenities: Big-box stores, Prince Kuhio Plaza Mall, multi-plex movie theater, lots of shops and restaurants, 2 golf courses (Hilo Municipal Golf Course, Naniloa Volcanoes Golf Club), Hilo Medical Center, Palace Theatre, Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens (also has an equestrian center), Imiloa Astronomy Center, several beaches and parks (including Wailuku River State Park and Wailoa River State Recreation Area), Hilo International Airport, Hilo Harbor, University of Hawaii Hilo, Hawaii Community College. Just north of Hilo: Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Kulaniapia Falls.
  • Condos/townhomes: Starting in the $100,000s + monthly maintenance fee.
  • Single family homes: Starting in the $100,000s.

Honoka’a & Pa’auhau

  • Location: North of Hilo and east of Waimea (Kamuela), on the Hamakua Coast.
  • What it has to offer: Small-town community, homes with scenic ocean views, farmland, sunshine (in Pa’auhau), Hamakua Country Club, shops and restaurants, Hale Ho’ola Hamakua Hospital, public gymnasium with indoor track and tennis courts, community swimming pool, Honoka’a People’s Theatre, several parks, hiking/biking trails, not far from amenities in Waimea (Kamuela).
  • Single family homes: Starting in the $100,000s.

Coming up next: Retirement Communities On Kauai. Stay tuned!