California is the second-largest mainland state in America and its residents are comprised of 14.3 percent retirees. This makes California a type of specialty retirement destination. There are mountains, beaches, deserts, lakes and two of the most famous cities in the world. NAPA Wine Country, which is a beautiful region of the state, also has global recognition.
People looking to retire in California have a lot of options. Finding the right community to suit both budget and needs is a particularly unique task. California has the second-highest cost of living in the U.S. next only to Hawaii. Low-income retirees finding affordable housing options is a crucial part of moving to The Golden State.
At the time of this writing, California is still battling fires of a prematurely historic level. Add this to COVID-19 continuing to log up to nine new confirmed cases a day (per one hundred thousand residents) and California has its share of safety concerns. Still, the new case rate in California is lower than in many others. The state has, at least for now, contained the expansion of virus to some degree. Retirement communities and senior apartment complexes all have safety measures in place to help protect their residents. Read on to discover some of the best retirement communities in California, alternatives for low-income retirees and how California communities can keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Do California Retirement Communities Provide Their Residents?
Amenities provided to residents in general retirement communities are numerous. These communities have swimming pools exclusive to only its residents. Activity and recreation centers exist for dances, game nights, community meetings and concerts. Parking is private and covered. Homes are frequently built on the ground floor to remove the need to go up and down steps. Security teams operate around the clock in many complexes to make sure all residents are safe and secure in their homes and community. These amenities are all bolstered by California sunshine, beautiful weather, mountains, lakes and the Pacific Ocean.
Many retirement communities are centered near commercial shopping areas and medical complexes. Some are even located on the Pacific coast, with ocean views. Many residents in California are still driving cars and functioning with full independence. There are those who are incapable of this, however, and for those residents some communities provide access to nearby public transportation. Some California retirement communities even provide inner-community shuttles.
The mix of normal community amenities with the perks of a California retirement is partially why people choose to retire in the Golden State. Additional benefits include a sense of camaraderie and familiarity among residents in similar age groups. Knowing your neighbors expect the same high quality experience from the retirement community as you provides a sense of confidence, comfort and long-term peace of mind.
Choosing Where to Retire in California
Northern California hosts the great city of San Francisco, the peninsula and the entire Bay Area. Southern California hosts Los Angeles and San Diego. LA is also the home of world-famous Hollywood. San Diego is home to some of the nicest weather in North America.
The west coast of California is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. There are gorgeous beaches up and down the coast, and almost all are viewable from the Pacific Coast Highway. The middle and eastern regions of California host beautiful deserts and mountain ranges. There is no shortage of amazing cities and areas to choose from throughout the entire state. Some of the best include:
Half Moon Bay
All have unique qualities and options for retirees looking for a new home.
The Villages Golf & Country Club of Silicon Valley
The Villages Golf & Country Club of Silicon Valley offers three unique types of independent living residences. Located in sunny San Jose, CA, this complex provides its residents more lifestyle options than experienced pre-retirement. There are stunning golf courses and a hiking trail. The Villages in San Jose also provides and equestrian center and its own community library.
The three available types of housing styles include independent homes and resident complexes, the latter of which contain more than one unit. Single Family Homes have their own land plot and are all single floor buildings. Villas are also single floor residences and contain two or three units per complex. Condos are two floor homes with six or eight units per complex. Pricing for these housing styles ranges from under $400,000 through $900,000 and above. Incoming residents therefore have multiple affordable options for pricing and lifestyle choice combined with an extensive list of amenities, including:
Community garden plots
Continued education opportunities
Sports and picnic facilitation
Complex security team
Best Retirement Communities in California
NAPA Valley is also famously known as Wine Country. The Meadows of NAPA Valley puts retirees in the heart of Wine Country with both fully independent and assisted living options. The campus at The Meadows spans over twenty acres of resort-style living with the ability to smoothly transition to assisted living if needed. There is an on-site medical staff, bi-weekly house cleaning, workshops, art rooms, gaming centers and more. Pricing inquiries can be conducted via online request or by calling 707-320-2185.
Wesley Palms in San Diego is part of a series of front porch retirement communities throughout California. Monthly fees are higher but so is the quality of living, which includes friendly neighbors, perfect San Diego weather and multiple great amenities. Wesley Palms offers six patio home floor plans ranging in price from $6,485 to $10,490 per month. Amenities include restaurant style dining, 24 hour security and weekly cleaning services. Landscaping and transportation to local shopping complexes are included in the monthly fees. Residents can also enjoy educational, art and music programs all year round.
Sacramento is a great California city in which to retire. WellQuest of Elk Grove is located just south of Sacramento and offers independent and fully assisted living options. Other great retirement communities in California include:
Affordable Low-Income Retirement Communities in California
California has a high cost of living and humangood is offering multiple low-income retirement options around the state. Humangood is a conglomerate of three non-profit organizations striving to provide low-income seniors the best quality of independent living possible. The Good Samaritan Society also helps provide affordable retirement communities in California, as does HUD.
California Retirement Communities and COVID-19
California retirement communities take COVID-19 safety protocols seriously. Group activities in many complexes are suspended or limited. Buildings where groups of residents are allowed to congregate have mask and social distancing requirements. Additional safety gear is being used by staff and provided to residents when possible. Cleaning supplies are updated to follow CDC cleaning protocols for retirement communities during COVID-19.