Best Places to Retire in California and Living Options for Seniors
In the U.S. state of California, 62 is the age of retirement (whereas 65, 66, and 67 are the ages in other states), and less than a third of California’s population is of retirement age. This makes California a relatively young state compared to others, even though California is a popular retirement destination for senior citizens alongside Florida.
However, California is a pretty expensive state to live in, and some living arrangements are more expensive than others. Here’s a look at some of the most affordable (and best) cities for retirement in California and living options.
Best Cities in California for Retirement
The capital city of California is located in the northern part of the state and is one of the most affordable cities in California. It’s also not too far away from Wine Country and Lake Tahoe, so there are activities for seniors to enjoy if they choose to move to this area of California. It’s also not too hot or cold during most of the year, so the climate is enjoyable for most people.
Eureka sits closer to the northernmost edge of California and is known for its beautiful landscapes that include the famous redwood trees. Being a smaller city than Sacramento, the cost of living is much lower in comparison. As for climate, it’s much cooler and wetter than the rest of California, but not unbearable.
Thousand Oaks is located in the Greater Los Angeles area, sitting right outside of Los Angeles County (in Ventura County). This is one of the fastest-growing cities in California and the U.S., particularly for senior citizens because it’s considered a retirement community.
Being close to Los Angeles, the cost of living is going to be a little higher than Eureka and Sacramento, but you’ll also be able to easily enjoy the attractions in Los Angeles— without having to live in the city or county.
Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, so the cost of living is going to be a bit higher here as well. However, it’s considered to be one of the safest and best places to retire in California. There are plenty of museums, restaurants, and outdoor activities to partake in, and the public transportation system is easy to navigate.
Both Thousand Oaks and Pasadena have a much warmer and drier climate than Eureka and Sacramento, so this may be a more desirable option for some.
Living Options for Seniors in California
As the name suggests, independent living is when seniors are living without daily assistance from others. Seniors can live independently in their own homes, or they can live independently in a retirement community. California has well over 1,000 independent living facilities all over the state, with some housing units being multi-family homes (i.e., apartments, condos, etc.) and others being single-family homes. This is usually the most affordable living arrangement.
Some senior citizens may also choose to move in with family members while remaining independent. Other times, their family members are their full-time caregivers, and this is when this living arrangement becomes more like assisted living than independent living.
Assisted living facilities provide assistance to their residents, whether it’s assistance with only certain activities or with all daily activities. California has well over 4,000 assisted living facilities, including nursing homes and memory care facilities for people suffering from different forms of dementia.
Assisted living facilities of all levels are best for seniors who can’t live independently safely and also if their family is unable to care for them. It’s also usually the most expensive option.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse in California exists as it does in many other parts of the U.S. This is because many nursing homes are overcrowded and understaffed as the amount of seniors needing assisted living continues to grow, and this results in nursing home staff becoming both impatient and negligent. Assisted living isn’t always the ideal situation for most seniors in California and all over the U.S., but it is necessary for those who can’t live independently.
California can be an affordable and enjoyable place for senior citizens to retire to. The majority of retirees, no matter which state they decide to retire to, prefer to live independently if at all possible. However, certain help conditions may not allow this, and in this case, it’s important to find assisted living facilities that provide quality care.