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California Best Places to Retire - A Guide

If you have been looking for the best places to retire in California this website has the answers you need. For each community - from Berkeley to Lake Tahoe - you will find objective reviews of California retirement communities written by active adults, not marketers.

Overall
California has as many top retirement communities as any state in the union. Its climate is exceptional and so is its beauty. On the downside, other states generally offer better value for your retirement dollar - real estate and the cost of living here is significantly higher than almost any state. On the other hand, recreational activities are exceptional in this state with a Pacific Ocean coastline that stretches from Mexico to the Oregon border. The state had 38 million people in 2012. This site will acquaint you with some basic facts about retirement to the best places in California.

Active adults looking for retirement information on best retirement communities like EurekaSan DiegoLaguna Woods Village etc. will find it here. To find more helpful information check out the Wikipedia page for California

 

Vineyards in San Luis Obispo

Climate
The California climate is characterized as Mediterranean. Summers are warm and dry and winters are cool and wet. Marine air from the Pacific controls the climate.It is such a big state that there are significantly different climates within it.

Per Capita Income and Home Prices
In 2012 the California per capita income was $44,980, near the top of all states. California cost of living tends to be high. Zillow reported that in mid2013 California Value Index of homes was $353,900. The 3rd quarter 2013 median selling price of a home in Los Angeles/Long Beach was $345,900; in Sacramento the median selling price was $209,300 (source: NAR).

Taxes

Tax Burden: California's fiscal woes are quite well known. The California tax burden is the 6th highest of any state according to the Tax Foundation. 

Marginal Income Tax Rates. Top marginal income tax rate is 9.55%. The income tax is very progressive and the 2nd highest of any state.

Retirement Income Exemptions. Social security benefits are excluded from state income tax in California.

Social security exemption. Social security is exempt.

Sales Tax:  Sales tax is 8.25%, also the highest of any state (localities can add another 1.5%).

Property Taxes: Proposition 13 limits property tax valuations to resales, which tends to favor long-term owners. Property tax is limited to a maximum of 1% of value.  Qualified homeowners can get a $7000 exemption from value. Taxpayers over 55 may transfer their low base value to a new or replacement home under Propositions 60 and 90.

Homestead Exemption. California has a homestead exemption.

Estate and/or Inheritance Taxes. There is an estate tax.

Link to the California Tax Service Center.

Certified Retirement Communities
California does not have a certified retirement community program.

Best Retirement Communities
Although expensive, crowded, and highly taxed, California does have great weather and many wonderful places to retire.  Some of the best places to retire are the college town of Berkeley, the beautiful city of Santa Barbara, the perennial golfing paradise of Palm Springs, the 7 Claremont Colleges in Claremont, or the wine country of Napa etc.

You will also get inside retirement information on living in bustling city of San Diego, fabulous La Jolla or nearby communities in Washington state. Many more communities are profiled (see links at right).

Each California retirement community profile at Topretirements.com features ratings on expenses, age restrictions, taxes, recreation, amenities, transportation, and security so you can compare how other active adults 55+ have rated that city or development. In the Forum for each California city or development there is a chance to pose queries and give your own opinions.

Click on the reviews of the best California retirement towns  on the right to get started.

 

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California Retirement Communities
Alhambra retirement communities
Anaheim retirement communities
Apple Valley retirement communities
Auburn retirement communities
Bakersfield retirement communities
Banning retirement communities
Berkeley retirement communities
Brentwood retirement communities
Burbank retirement communities
California City retirement communities
Camarillo retirement communities
Cambria retirement communities
Chico retirement communities
Claremont retirement communities
Cupertino retirement communities
Davis retirement communities
Discovery Bay retirement communities
Elk Grove retirement communities
Eureka retirement communities
Grass Valley retirement communities
Healdsburg retirement communities
Helendale retirement communities
Hemet retirement communities
Indio retirement communities
Irvine retirement communities
Jackson retirement communities
La Jolla retirement communities
Laguna Woods retirement communities
Livermore retirement communities
Long Beach retirement communities
Los Angeles retirement communities
Mammoth Lakes retirement communities
Manteca retirement communities
Mendocino retirement communities
Mission Viejo retirement communities
Napa retirement communities
Nipomo retirement communities
Oceanside retirement communities
Ojai retirement communities
Oxnard retirement communities
Palm Springs retirement communities
Pasadena retirement communities
Pleasanton retirement communities
Redding retirement communities
Rio Vista retirement communities
Riverside retirement communities
Roseville retirement communities
Sacramento retirement communities
San Clemente retirement communities
San Diego retirement communities
San Jose retirement communities
San Luis Obispo retirement communities
San Rafael retirement communities
Santa Barbara retirement communities
Santa Clarita Valley retirement communities
Santa Rosa retirement communities
Seal Beach retirement communities
Solvang retirement communities
Sonoma retirement communities
Tahoe retirement communities
Torrance retirement communities
Vista retirement communities
Walnut Creek retirement communities
Retirement communities by state
Retirement communities
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