15 Best Places in California for a Couple to Live on Only Social Security – Yahoo Finance

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This article takes a look at the 15 best places in California for a couple to live on only social security. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis on California’s real estate landscape, you may go to 5 Best Places in California for a Couple to Live on Only Social Security.

California’s Real Estate Landscape

One of the most valuable housing markets in the USA is California. Despite a housing slowdown that shaved off significant of the state’s residential real estate value, roughly one-fifth of the country’s total housing value is in Cali. Redfin Corporation (NASDAQ:RDFN) notes that as of December 2023, home prices in the state were up 8.5% with a median home price of $795,100.


Buy/sell, rent/lease residential &
commercials real estate properties.

“While sales have been weak for the past several months, a tight supply of homes for sale is keeping home prices from falling.”

– C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine

Norada Real Estate Investments further share that major regions across the state have been demonstrating a similar trajectory with regard to real estate prices. Southern California experienced a 9.9% year-over-year gain, Central Coast gained 6.1%, Central Valley 5.5%, San Francisco Bay Area 4.4%, and the Far North rose by 2.7%. Overall, the real estate investment company predicts a decline in home sales and median home prices as compared to the previous year.

As a result of high rents, high home prices, high cost of living, and high taxes, Californians have been moving away from the state in droves. According to a report by U-Haul Holding Company (NYSE:UHAL), people have been migrating to Southern States throughout the pandemic and continue to do so. California has been facing the most decline, however, the numbers may not be as shocking because U-Haul Holding Company (NYSE:UHAL) has revealed being short of outbound equipment to meet customer demand. In other words, the company was out of inventory back in 2020 that would have captured the intensity with which Californians have been moving away from their state.

“We see a lot of growth coming from the East and West Coast. A lot of people moving here from California (and) New York.”

– Matt Merrill, U-Haul Holding Company (NYSE:UHAL) Area District Vice President of the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex and West Texas.

Persisting beyond the pandemic’s initial impact, the moving industry reports a sustained Californian exodus, extending throughout the year 2022. For the third consecutive year, the company notes their annual growth index showing more moving trucks having departed from the expensive state to other states, such as Texas. The company further notes that since 2016, California has remained one of the lowest growth spots in the country.

Despite its high cost of living, California remains a dream retirement destination for many, including those who may primarily depend on their Social Security income. Many such people ask us: can you live here on Social Security only? Well, retiring on social security alone in California may seem like an impossible thing to do. The Golden State offers some of the best places to retire in, however, they aren’t affordable enough to live on social security alone. After all, the cost of living in the state is 36.4% higher than the national average, as notes the Missouri Economic Research & Information Center.

Regardless, there are a few regions within the state where it is still quite possible to live on their social security check. The state’s warm climate and recreational activities are the major advantages of living in California, motivating retirees to choose the Golden State as their home.

15 Best Places in California for a Couple to Live on Only Social Security

15 Best Places in California for a Couple to Live on Only Social Security

Methodology

To compile the list of best places in California for a couple to live on only social security, we have used several sources such as Nasdaq, US News Money, Retirable, and RetireGuide. We also explored several forums such as Reddit and Quora to assess which places in California are the best for older couples to live on social security. Next, we selected the places that have a cost of living index that is below or equal to 100 (implying a cost of living that is equal to or below the national average). We scored them on their cost of living index, median home price, and the average monthly rent of a 2-bedroom apartment. Cost of living has been sourced from Best Places, whereas home prices and rents have been taken from Redfin, Zillow, Zumper, and other sources. Scores were summed and places were ranked in ascending order from the lowest to the highest scores.

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Here are the best places in California for a couple to live on only social security:

15. Taft

Insider Monkey Score: 4

Cost of Living Index: 99.8           

Median Home Price: $235,000

Nestled in the foothills of the San Joaquin Valley, Taft can be a wonderful place to live for retirees. Those who appreciate small-towns will love it here, seeking solace in friendships and connections that they make over the years. In fact, the best thing about this town is that its small and everyone knows each other. Winters are mild here, while summers are hot. Los Angeles is a two-hour drive away, and there are plenty of parks and lakes nearby to spend the day.

14. College City

Insider Monkey Score: 7

Cost of Living Index: 100

Median Home Price: $410,000

Retirees who love seclusion and privacy can choose to retire in College City. Only close to 200 people live here, ideal for the seniors who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of big cities. The town offers a rural feel and most residents own their homes. This charming village is situated in the midst of a farming community, an interesting fact for someone who loves the agrarian lifestyle. All necessary amenities are present here, and Colusa City is a half-hour drive away.

13. Vina

Insider Monkey Score: 8

Cost of Living Index: 100

Median Home Price: $220,000

Located in Tehama County, retiring to Vina can be a unique and secluded experience for seniors. The small yet vibrant community is home to over 200 people, offering a peaceful and tranquil environment to call home. Seniors get to enjoy a relaxed pace of life here. The area is renowned for its agricultural character, with sprawling vineyards and orchards adding to its charm and significance. Moreover, the surrounding area is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, bird-watching, and nature exploration.

12. Three Rivers

Insider Monkey Score: 9

Cost of Living Index: 99.6

Median Home Price: $496,500

One of the best places in California for a couple to live on only social security is Three Rivers, California. Situated near Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, retirees love the breathtaking scenery it offers, brimming with giant sequoia trees, mountains, and the Kaweah River. Outdoor enthusiasts will especially love it here due to its proximity to these areas, spending the day hiking, camping, fishing, and more. Overall, the town is revered for its vibrant arts community, peaceful ambience, and small-town vibe.

11. Visalia

Insider Monkey Score: 10

Cost of Living Index: 99.6           

Median Home Price: $415,000

Located in Tulare County in the Central Valley of California, Visalia offers retirees a mild climate and modern amenities. Serving as a gateway to the renowned Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and nestled in the foothills of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains, the city is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts to embrace an active lifestyle. Moreover, the people are quite friendly and live a content life here. The cost of living is close to the national average, making it one of the best places in California for a couple to live on only social security.

10. Bakersfield

Insider Monkey Score: 11

Cost of Living Index: 99.8

Median Home Price: $390,000

Sitting on the Kern River, Bakersfield is another city making it to our list of best places in California for a couple to live on social security. More than half of the year is sunny in this city, ideal to embrace the diverse landscapes it offers and enjoy outdoor pursuits. Healthcare is excellent , and there are plenty of amenities and recreational opportunities to pursue. The arts and culture scene is quite lively as well, and the city is bursting with events and activities of all kinds.

9. Lemon Cove

Insider Monkey Score: 14

Cost of Living Index: 99.6           

Median Home Price: $370,000

Another idyllic small town located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is Lemon Cove. The cost of living in this city is 0.4% lower than the national average, making it possible for retired couples to live on social security only. The surrounding natural beauty not only provides a serene and tranquil environment, but also offers retirees the opportunity for relishing the outdoors.

8. Tulare

Insider Monkey Score: 13

Cost of Living Index: 99.6

Median Home Price: $367,000

Situated in Tulare County, Tulare is a small town where retired couples can stretch their retirement incomes further. It is located in the heart of California’s agricultural region, known for its farms and orchards. Retirees often appreciate these rural and agrarian surroundings. Situated in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, the town also offers easy access to outdoor activities and natural attractions. Sequoia National Park is also nearby. Local events, parks, and community activities can keep residents busy.

7. Randsburg

Insider Monkey Score: 16

Cost of Living Index: 99.8

Median Home Price: $310,000

Randsburg is a small mining town in the Mojave Desert. The small town boasts a rich history, appealing to individuals who like unique architecture and historic charm. The small town offers a close-knit community to its residents who enjoy a relaxed pace of life. Its distinctive desert landscape is ideal to enjoy outdoor pursuits such as off-roading, hiking, and more. Art galleries and similar installations have also been popping up in the area.

6. Hanford

Insider Monkey Score: 20

Cost of Living Index: 95.6           

Median Home Price: $364,000

Hanford is one of the most populous cities in California, located in the San Joaquin Valley region of the greater Central Valley. The cost of living in this city is 4.4% lower than the national average. The area around the city provides opportunities for outdoor pursuits, such as in parks, hiking trails, and recreational areas. Retirees are also drawn to Hanford for its historic charm, appreciating its preserved architecture and cultural heritage.

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Disclosure: none. 15 Best Places in California for a Couple to Live on Only Social Security is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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