Santa Monica : California


What It Is Like to Retire in Santa Monica

Situated on the Santa Monica Bay, and bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles, the beautiful beachfront city of Santa Monica, is a famed resort town with a population of 89,736 (2010 census). The walkable community of just over eight square miles, offers more than three miles of coastline, popular beaches, and a vibrant downtown, which was won the #2 spot in Livability's Top 10 Downtowns in 2016. The Santa Monica Pier is a city icon and home to Pacific Park, a historic amusement park, along with an oceanfront walk, restaurants, shops, and a popular spot for fishing.

Forbes listed the city in its Top 20 Most Expensive Zip Codes in 2015, as the median sale price of a home is over $1Million.  Because of its beauty and year round warm weather, hundreds of movies scenes have been shot here including The Sting, Rocky III, and Ocean's Eleven, along with the popular television series, Baywatch.  Santa Monica is considered one of the most environmentally activist municipality in the country with green building codes, recycling, a Bike Action Plan, community gardens, and grower-only Certified Farmers' Markets (which has named by Travel+Leisure as the best farmers market in the country). Picture of Santa Monica entrance courtesy of Wikipedia (public domain); Santa Monica City Hall courtesy of Wikipedia and User2004 (public domain).


Where to Retire in Santa Monica and Home Prices

The city is made up of eight walkable neighborhoods each offering a diverse mix of shopping, dining, entertainment and recreation.  Zillow reports the median listing price to be $1,811,765 in mid-2021.


What Is Special about Santa Monica

Just about everything: location, climate, beaches, biking, cultural events, great shopping, dining, and walkability.


What Is Not Special about Santa Monica

Very high cost of living; high crime rate


Who Will Like Retirement in Santa Monica

Retirees who want to live in a laid-back beach community that is easy to get around, has hospitals, great shopping, many restaurants, community gardens, farmers markets, and is bike friendly, would enjoy retiring here (if they can afford it).


Local Economy Is Driven by

Technology and professional services drive the economy. Santa Monica is home to several business headquarters, including  Hulu, Universal Music Group, Lionsgate Films, and the RAND Corporation.


Climate and Physical Environment

The city enjoys about 310 days of sunshine a year. The average January temperature is 58 degrees, with July's average at 69 degrees.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Along with a vibrant downtown, parks, miles of beaches and outdoor recreation, Santa Monica also offers more than 75 museums and art galleries. Bergamot Station, an old train depot, contains some 35 galleries, including the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Central to Downtown Santa Monica is Third Street Promenade, a pedestrian-only area lined with restaurants, shops and street performers that attracts thousands of tourist everyday.



The crime rate here is very high, compared to the national average, but much of that is petty crime or property crimes. There is a large homeless population as in many California towns.


Medical Facilities

Hospitals in Santa Monica include Saint John's Health Center and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.



The Expo Line is a light-rail train that runs between Santa Monica and Los Angeles, and buses also service the area; the city owns and operates Santa Monica Airport, a general aviation airport, and the Los Angeles International Airport is just eight miles away; Santa Monica is a biking community and is considered to be one of the leaders in bicycle infrastructure and programming in LA County; it is also a very walkable community.


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