I’m Retired And Relocating to California
When I was a little girl, I always wanted to visit Hollywood, California that is. I wanted to be a movie star and live the lavished life. My life has been lavished but not in the way I thought that I wanted as a little girl. I am an educator and think of myself as a movie star. In 2013 I was able to go to Hollywood California and I have gone every year since. Now that I am Retired&Lovinit, the San Diego California is one of the cities that I am thinking about relocating to.
This is the first of the ten places that I will be researching and writing about in my bi-weekly blog series’ “Retiring Soon? Where Will You Relocate?” First I will consider how I want to live, compare the places that will best facilitate my desired lifestyle and then I will choose a place. The place that I choose needs to be near the beach, I don’t have to be on the beach I just want to see it often. The weather needs to be warm most of the year. I need affordable housing, low crime, low taxes and no state tax on my pension. My new city must be near a major airport hub, because I like to travel. Now I know that won’t get all of my must-haves, but I will use this list as the main basis for determining the best place for me.
California is a large state with more than thirty-eight million residents. Yes, California’s cost of living is higher than average in the United States. However, there are several affordable places to live on a retirement income in California. For example, Redding which is in Northern California and Eureka, which is near beaches. But of course I would want to live in San Diego or the Los Angeles area. These areas are among the most expensive places to live, but can be affordable for some retirees.
I fell in love with Coronado, California three years in a row. I would love to relocate there. Coronado Island is a resort city located in San Diego County. The population is over 30,000. Coronado Island is known for its beautiful beaches that sparkle. Crime is lower than the national average. Coronado Island has that small town vibe. There is a Starbucks, but there are also Mom & Pop shops. I found the people to be friendly. Coronado Island has stunning views of the San Diego skyline. The scenery is beautiful and the architecture of the buildings is fantastic! I was definitely sad when it was time to go.
The weather in Coronado Island is great. The average temperature is 66 degrees. The annual low is 59.2 degrees and the annual high is 72.8 degrees. No snow and the annual amount of rain are 9.49 inches. The air conditioner is needed some parts of the year and a light jacket the other part of the year.Okay, I have just told you about all of the good qualities of Coronado Island and my reasons for moving there.
Yes, California cost of living is higher than average in the United States. However, there are affordable places to live on a retirement income in California. For example, Redding and Eureka are two, but neither is where I want to live. So I will not mention them again. The average rent in San Diego County for a two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment is $2400 with many good amenities. I was able to find a 1000 square-foot two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment with a nice size deck for $1620 in San Diego City. No, none of these include gas and electric. If I wanted to buy there are several affordable active adult communities from low $200’s to high $800’s. I don’t think that I would buy if I decided to relocate here.
The state of California taxes pensions but not tax Social Security. The state of California has the fourth largest tax burden behind New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Coronado sales tax is 8%; this is a combination of state, county and city tax. The state of California sales tax is 6.25%.
The question is, would the love of the small town, beautiful beaches and wonderful top the high cost of living? Oh, I forgot San Diego does not have a major hub airport; I would have to fly into LA then to my destination. Great medical facilities were not on my must-have list it should have been. As you get older you definitely want to be near great medical facilities. San Diego has great medical facilities.
Leaving the West coast and on to the East coast. Time to research the next place on my list, Delaware. Check back in two weeks to see what I have to say about relocating to Delaware.
California Here I Come
My Significant Other (SO) and I took our annual trip to San Diego, California. I love going to San Diego, California! But I do not like flying for five and a half hours, but that is the quickest way to get there. My SO son moved out there a few years ago. We go every August to visit him.
My SO is a Coast Guard veteran and he flies for free. He had to drive to Washington DC from Philadelphia. There he took a flight to Las Vegas. He spent the night in Las Vegas. He then took Greyhound Bus to San Diego. That was his free flight. Sometimes he gets a straight flight, sometimes he doesn’t. For him it is about saving money not too much about convenience. It is about convenience for me.
I use Expedia.com to book my trips. I recommend booking your hotel and flight together, it is usually cheaper. I booked my flight in February because I only needed a flight. My round trip flight cost $357.39. I flew out of Philadelphia on an American non-stop flight to San Diego. My SO picked me up in a rented car. I flew Jet Blue on my return flight. I flew to Boston, sat there for three hours and then on to Philadelphia. I won’t do that again, trying to save money. My time is worth much more. The flight going was freezing cold. The return flight was much better. But why is my departure gate always at the end of the airport? The gates at my terminal were numbered 1-26, and my gate was 26.
I prefer to have my car at the airport, that way I do not have to wait for anyone to pick me up. There is a bus that takes you to every terminal and picks you up at every terminal on your return trip. The cost is $11 for every 24 hours. I was gone eight
days, but was charged for 9, because it was past the 24-hour mark when I picked up my car. Costing a total $99, I was not happy with that.
We stayed at the Military Lodge on one of the Navy bases. There is
more than one Lodge on this base. I did not take any pictures on the base. The last time I tried to take pictures on the base a MP got out of his car and came up to me. He said that I could not take pictures, so I do not take pictures on the base!
It is now 10:30 AM in California and time for breakfast. We went to Coronado Island. Coronado Island is beautiful with a small town vibe. We ate breakfast at a fifty-style restaurant. There were jute boxes with music from the fifties, the waitresses wore aprons and they made milk shakes the old way. You could sit at the booths or sit at the counter. They used a cash register from the fifties. The food was delicious. Their coffee is ten cents on Wednesdays with military ID.
We took a road trip to Los Angeles. We stayed two nights at the Los Angeles Air Force Inn in San Pedro. Our room was really a one-bedroom apartment. It had a queen-sized bed with a walk in closet, a fully equipped kitchen, a separate bathroom, a living room, two televisions with cable, free Wi-Fi and a beautiful breeze.
We ate at the famous San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant. They catch, clean and cook the fish right there. I had the best Mango Margarita. It was Fleet Week in San Pedro, so there were plenty of sailors and ships to see. We drove to downtown Los Angeles and took in the sights. On the way back to San Pedro we drove through Watts and Compton.
San Diego and Coronado had beautiful weather. I absolutely loved the vibe. The houses looked beautiful on the outside. However, it is expensive to live in San Diego and more expensive in Coronado compared to other places. If your retirement income can handle the expenses of San Diego and/or Coronado, this would be a great place to relocate. The weather is gorgeous and the water views are fantastic. I would love to move here but I prefer to spend my retirement income on other things.
We had a great time! Oh, we did spend time with my SO’s son. We took him out to eat several times. Well, until next year!