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? 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.