These are the worst cities in California for retirees: study
LOS ANGELES – Retiring to California sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? With everything from ocean views and mountains in the background to a pleasant year-round climate and consistently sunny weather to enjoy the outdoors, the Golden State surely offers seniors a wide range of options to spend their golden years.
High quality of life, job opportunities and the best health care options make California a desirable place to retire, according to a recent US News analysis of the 150 largest US metropolitan areas as potential retirement locations. .
But it’s not cheap.
A new study from GOBankingRates has analyzed the median home listing price and average expenses of someone 65 and older, identifying the cheapest places to live in California that also offer a lifestyle similar to most expensive options one might consider first.
To arrive at the results, the analysts considered three factors – Zillow’s median housing listing price data by city; the average cost of living index in the selected cities; data from the Bureau of Labor Statistcs’ 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey to find annual expenditure amounts to determine how much a person 65 and older might spend in each city per month.
Here’s what the study found in terms of cities to avoid and a more affordable alternative option.
Los Angeles to San Bernardino
No wonder here that the second largest city in the United States is among the most expensive. In Los Angeles, the median home price is around $1 million, with the cost of living for households 65 and older at $117,927.14.
Neighboring San Bernardino, however, offers many of the same benefits without costing an arm and a leg, according to the study. Here, the median home price is $463,783, which is $509,045 less than in Los Angeles. Additionally, the average senior spends less than $44,000 a year living in San Bernardino, according to the study.
Oakland to Modesto
The median home price in Oakland is $955,409, followed by an average cost of living for seniors of $118,000.
The study suggests the inner city of Modesto, where the median list price for a home is $450,204, less than half that of Oakland. The average cost of living for seniors in Modesto is nearly $77,000.
From Santa Ana to Henderson, Nevada
In Santa Ana, the median home price is $788,712 and the average annual spending for people age 65 and older is $96,000, analysts said.
Instead, Henderson, across the Nevada border from Las Vegas, is a cheaper alternative, according to the study. Here, the median house price is $513,542, and annual expenses for those 65 and older are more than $21,000 a year lower.
Anaheim to Las Vegas, Nevada
Located just south of Los Angeles and home to Disneyland, Anaheim’s cost of living isn’t great. Here, average annual spending by seniors exceeds $100,000, while the median house price is $877,761.
But in Sin City (also called Disneyland for adults), the median house price is almost half that of Anaheim, and the average annual spending in Las Vegas is just under $75,000 per year. That’s close to $25,000 a year that can be saved on basic needs.
San Francisco to Sacramento
Although home to the Golden Gate Bridge, spending your golden years in the City by the Bay will break the bank. Here, the median house price is $1.5 million, with the average senior spending more than $164,000 a year on necessities.
In the state capital, just to the north, Sacramento’s median home price is about a quarter of San Francisco’s at $503,651, according to the study. Here, the average senior spends $81,384, more than half of what seniors in San Francisco spend.
Riverside in Fresno
One of the biggest cities in the Inland Empire is also quite expensive for the elderly. According to the study, the average price of a home in Riverside is $632,436 and the average annual outlay for those 65 and older is $89,750.45.
Moving to Fresno in the Central Valley will give you the same kind of weather and other conveniences at a fraction of the cost. Seniors here will save $256,000 buying a home compared to Riverside, in addition to saving more than $20,000 annually in expenses.
San Jose to Stockton
The capital of Silicon Valley comes at a pretty high price. It’s a little cheaper than San Francisco, but not by much. Here, the median home price is $1,385,280, with average annual expenditures estimated at around $143,895.20.
Compare that to Stockton, where according to the study, the median home price is less than a third of San Jose’s at $454,453. The average annual expense for seniors is $77,368.77, nearly half that of San Jose.
Long Beach in Corpus Christi, Texas
Spending your golden years by the beach may be a dream for many, but it’s expensive in Long Beach. Here, the median house price is $808,501, with the average annual outlay for those 65 and over at $106,482.45.
The study suggests Corpus Christi, a city on the Gulf Coast of Texas, as an economic alternative. Here, the median house price is $219,190 and annual expenses are estimated to be around $56,018.74. Retirees would save nearly $600,000 buying a home here.
San Diego to Jacksonville, Florida
America’s Finest City has a good price, okay. According to the study, the median price of a home here is $968,370, and retirees will need more than $107,000 a year to cover basic expenses.
Seniors who are brave enough to switch coasts and travel to Jacksonville, Florida can still enjoy the beaches and warm weather at a fraction of the price. According to the study, the median home price here is $650,000 lower than in San Diego, with average annual expenses around $63,000.
To see the full study and national rankings, tap or click here.