Palm Springs : California

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What it's Like to Retire in Palm Springs

Located in the picture postcard Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, California has long been one of the most famous retirement communities. It draws active adults from all over the world with its beautiful landscape, rich culture, fine restaurants, diverse communities, and outstanding attractions. The population is 48,000 but many more people live in surrounding towns. Incorporated in 1938, this popular oasis has long been a haven for Los Angelites. Originally a destination for movie stars and the wealthy, the city known as “The Playground of the Stars” now attracts slightly more diverse residents. To see evidence of the famous, look no further than its main avenues – Bob Hope Drive, Frank Sinatra Drive, etc.

The slightly funky, upscale downtown is in a broad valley set against picturesque Mount St. Jacinto that rises over 10,000 feet directly above the town... The valley extends for miles and miles and the mountains are in the picture – glowing red or white depending on whether it is in the setting sun or a spring snowfall. There is no shortage of anything to do in Palm Springs, with golf and outdoor activities topping the list. In fact, Palm Springs offers residents and visitors the culture, sophistication, and opportunity usually reserved for large metropolitan areas. Photo of Palm Canyon drive courtesy of Wikipedia and Patrick Pelster.

Here is a mini-guide to California retirement


Where to Retire in Palm Springs and Home Prices

Palm Springs is located in Riverside County. There are many other communities in the Palm Springs area, such as Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, etc. Some of these might offer less or more expensive housing options. Retirees contemplating a move to this area would be wise to spend time here on vacation to get a better feeling for the community right for them.
Average home prices in Palm Springs have fallen by half since 2006.  The median selling price was about $315,000 in late 2015, according to showed the median late 2014 selling price around $375,000.  Prices in surrounding communities could be less (Indio) or more (La Quinta).


What is special about Palm Springs

• Beautiful setting – a desert surrounded by mountains • Wide range of housing opportunities for seniors • Convenient shopping and extensive medical infrastructure • Mild climate year round • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway rises 8500’ above the city • 350 days of sunshine •  The old downtown is a cool place

What is not special about Palm Springs

• There is lot traffic in the season • Development is non-stop • Not for people looking for budget places to live • How long will there be water in this desert • Summer is hot! • Some people will find life in all of the gated communities to be sterile • We have heard complaints about air quality


Who will like retirement in Palm Springs

Many wealthy people live in Palm Springs, either as retirees or weekenders or vacationers. The city is big enough that the regular people who support this community live here as well. The area has traditionally been very popular with same sex couples, of which many live here.


Local economy is driven by

Tourism, medical, real estate, retirees

Climate and Physical Environment

Palm Springs is situated in the Coachella Valley set against the St. Jacinto Mountains, about 107 miles east of Los Angeles. The desert is beautiful and the opportunities for outdoor life are considerable. Summers are extremely hot and winters pleasant. It can be nice in the valley but there is snow on the tops of surrounding mountains. The average July high is about 108 and the low 78. In January the average high is about 70 and the low 45.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Palm Springs has a rich cultural life, much to do with its status as a popular tourist destination and playground of the affluent. Don't miss the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. The annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is a very big deal.  Palm Springs VillageFest is a weekly cultural stroll in the downtown every Thursday. Agua Caliente Cultural Museum celebrates the native Americans who lived here.



Crime in Palm Springs is about twenty five percent higher than the national average.

Medical facilities

Desert Regional Medical Center; Eisenhower Medical Center (Rancho Mirage, Ca); John F Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Inc (Indio, Ca)



Palm Springs International Airport. There is an extensive, if underused, public bus system

Valuable Links

Palm Springs on Wikipedia


What people are saying about Palm Springs

Poor Air Quality in Palm Springs
One thing that was not mentioned in this article, was the very poor air quality in the Palm Springs area. As a resident of Scottsdale, AZ, we drive periodically on highway 10 to Los Angeles and this goes right through Palm Springs. As we are approaching Palm Springs the poor air quality is visible ....this is all coming from Los Angeles. There are many people especially as we age, that air quality becomes a problem for their respiratory system and an important issue to consider.
Posted by on December 02, 2015

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Facts about PALM SPRINGS
  • State: CA
  • Environment: Suburban,Mountain,Desert,LGBT,Resort Community,
  • City Population: 50,001-100,000
  • Median age of Population: 45-64
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • Avg July Temperature: 81+
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $300,001-$500,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Cost of Living Index: 111-120 (high)
  • Culture Index: 111-120 (high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: jb

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

Palm Springs retirement communities
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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 3.5/5 ( 23 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 4.1/5 ( 14 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 3.8/5 ( 12 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 4.2/5 ( 10 votes cast)

None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 4.2/5 ( 11 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 4.3/5 ( 11 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 3.7/5 ( 13 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 11 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 14 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 3.6/5 ( 10 votes cast)


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