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Country Music Legend Kris Kristofferson Reflects On Retirement

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Updated 6/13/2024

Kris Kristofferson has had a very successful career as an actor, songwriter and country singer and is now enjoying his downtime. Much to the shock of his fans, he is indeed retired and lives in Maui, Hawaii with wife Lisa Meyers, where he’s lived for many years and raised five children. At 87 years old, he is still very involved in the community and reportedly gives back to the schools there.

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His manager revealed that his health is good and he spends all of his time with his family. This is great news considering it was once revealed that he was being treated for dementia, although he ultimately discovered that it was actually Lyme disease. By all reports, even though he still suffers from memory loss, overall he is doing quite well these days.

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Back in 2013, he spoke to media about his fading memory, noting, “My memory is so [crappy] now. I found, and we didn’t know it at the time, that all the concussions you get in boxing and football start catching up with you by the time you get to be as old as I am. Memory’s going fast. I guess the good thing about it is that it doesn’t bother me. I just remember what I have to. Fortunately, my wife is about 20 years younger than me; we’ve been married 30 years and she can take care of me.”

The Draw of Hawaii

Long before he retired there, Hawaii felt like home to Kris. “I’ve been coming out here since I was a kid,” he shared with the Austin Chronicle. “My old man worked for Pan American; I bought this place around 1970. I live on the small, unpopulated side of the island. Oddly, this side reminds me of where I grew up down in Brownsville, Texas. It’s got the same grapefruit trees. It’s real vegetated. Everybody thinks I’m crazy saying that, but it’s kind of like the Rio Grande Valley, where the biggest crop was grapefruit before anybody had them and it was always green.”

“People treat each other differently [here],” he added to thefader.com. “There’s an honesty about the friendships and behavior. I’d noticed it first when i was about 17, when I went to work for Hawaiian Dredging in the summer out on Wake Island. And the people — there’s a whole different sort of generosity and honesty about the people. I remember the first day I got there, they were driving us to the dinner — everybody in the same place, because Wake Island is very small, a little atoll — and the guy driving, he was drinking a beer, and he asked me if I wanted one.”

Kris accepted it, and it was at that moment that he realized, humorously, that you shouldn’t say you want something or admire it, because before you know it, it’s being handed to you. “A guy did it to me with a spear gun out there,” he said. “There’s a real generosity that was almost an innocence.”

Kris Kristofferson is enjoying retirement in Hawaii

Kris Kristofferson / AdMedia/Image Collect

While Kris is officially retired, he still loves to perform on the island and will join local musicians to surprise tourists. Many of them reportedly don’t even believe it’s him when they see him on the island! As local journalist Ted Bartimus told Closer Weekly, “Tourists would do a double-take. I once watched a fellow off a tour bus stare at Kris for 10 minutes, then turn to his wife and say, ‘Naw, that’s not him. What would he be doing out here in the wilderness?'”

RELATED: Country Star And The Highway Men Member Kris Kristofferson Retires

Kris Kristofferson / Paul Smith/Featureflash/Image Collect

Kris shared, “Thankfully I haven’t lost the songs. I got a lot of lawn to mow! I want to stay right where I am, which is on an island with no neighbors and 180 degrees of empty horizon. It’s a beautiful view.”

It certainly sounds beautiful! In conclusion, listen to one of his biggest hits below:

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