Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

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Bustoff
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Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Bustoff »

"And California Dreamin' is becoming a reality".... NOT.

For years we worked and saved with the hope of retiring in California. But due to the cost of housing we feel our dream is fading away.
Last December we were back in Huntington Beach visiting family over the holidays. We love the climate in Huntington Beach but could never afford to live there. Our $250,000 house and half-acre lot in the mid-west would easily cost $750,000 in HB, probably more.
Housing generally becomes more affordable as you travel further east from the coast but the weather also gets hotter.

During our last visit we drove from HB to Palm Springs and spent a few days in Palm Desert. Along the way we saw what looked like some a great areas at the north end of California State Route 241, but even that far west many of those neighborhoods consisted of million dollar homes. We realize there are places where you can get buy a house for $400K in Riverside County but the heat and smog can be bad.

There must be some retired Bogleheads living in CA that don't live in million dollar homes. We don't need luxurious house, but on the other hand when your 60 yoa, one does require a modicum of comfort.

So is it possible to live a Boglehead lifestyle in California?
The Wizard
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by The Wizard »

Many Bogleheads hail from CA.
And as retirees, you can live out further, not having to commute anymore.
Still, I have no personal expertise on where to look for nice $250K home properties...
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sscritic
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by sscritic »

Bustoff wrote: So is it possible to live a Boglehead lifestyle in California?
Yes, but it helps to start here. I don't think owning a home that costs $1 million means you are excluded from some exclusive boglehead club. Is the price of your house really what defines a boglehead? I thought it was more along the lines of live below your means, use low cost funds for investing, etc.

Here are some nice condos built in 2000 only blocks from the beach in HB that sold in the last three months:
338 5th St $739,900 2 2.25 1,680
354 5th St $799,900 2 2.25 2,100
358 5th St $720,000 2 2.5 1,680
382 5th St $750,000 2 2.5 2,280
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JnIUhxe7rw

There is a Starbucks downstairs, if bogleheads are allowed to go to Starbucks. Unfortunately, Mo's Smokehouse Grill downstairs has closed, but you can still walk a block to Michelle's Sugar Shack Cafe for breakfast on Main Street.
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Twins Fan
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Twins Fan »

Bustoff wrote:So is it possible to live a Boglehead lifestyle in California?
Sure, if you have lots of money. :D

Don't forget that lots of folks living and retired there may have lived there 40, 50 years, or their whole life. From what I hear CA was much more affordable a couple/few decades ago. Or, may have made a ton off what used to be an affordable home out there and moved to a nice home. Or,........

Trying to retire to CA from most other states now days I would guess is going to be an move up in cost of living. Has to be a difficult move, even for a boglehead.

Maybe look just a bit north in OR? You may have to adjust that dream a little.
sscritic
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by sscritic »

P.S. I think they still have trailer parks in HB, even some right along the beach. Is that boglehead enough for you?
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sscritic
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by sscritic »

My own definition of a boglehead includes saving enough so that when you retire you can enjoy a good life. If the good life is in California and you haven't saved enough, you might not be a boglehead. :)
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Valuethinker »

Bustoff wrote:"And California Dreamin' is becoming a reality".... NOT.

For years we worked and saved with the hope of retiring in California. But due to the cost of housing we feel our dream is fading away.
Last December we were back in Huntington Beach visiting family over the holidays. We love the climate in Huntington Beach but could never afford to live there. Our $250,000 house and half-acre lot in the mid-west would easily cost $750,000 in HB, probably more.
Housing generally becomes more affordable as you travel further east from the coast but the weather also gets hotter.

During our last visit we drove from HB to Palm Springs and spent a few days in Palm Desert. Along the way we saw what looked like some a great areas at the north end of California State Route 241, but even that far west many of those neighborhoods consisted of million dollar homes. We realize there are places where you can get buy a house for $400K in Riverside County but the heat and smog can be bad.

There must be some retired Bogleheads living in CA that don't live in million dollar homes. We don't need luxurious house, but on the other hand when your 60 yoa, one does require a modicum of comfort.

So is it possible to live a Boglehead lifestyle in California?
Your first resort is to downsize radically. Trade a 4 BR house in the Midwest for a 1 bed condo in the part of California in which you really want to live. To live in NYC, people live even more constrained lives. It might also be cheaper to rent than own.

You need to analyze what it is about California that you seek?

- The Ocean? then try Oregon or Washington State, perhaps on the East Coast Maine or somewhere south of Norfolk VA? (beware hurricane country) of in Maryland/ Delaware?

- dry sunny climate? You would find the same in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah even, Colorado (parts of)

- Southern California vibe or Northern California vibe? If SoCal then you are paying for it in greater LA or San Diego. As you say there might be inland places that are cheaper. The trick is to find somewhere that is not commutable-- housing prices will be much lower. Based on what I have heard about bad neighbourhoods in LA you had better be sure that the area is gentrifying (rapidly) because places like Compton really are/ were bad

Or perhaps the Pacific Coast *north* of LA?

If NoCal then according to posters here, the trick seems to be again to be outside easy range of the BART/ commutability to SF or Silicon Valley.

Very northern California is again said to be more affordable. So is inland California-- Sacramento?

Portland or Seattle always struck me as very 'Californian' cities in mindset, albeit where it rains a lot more ;-).

Beware taxes in CA are heavy -- or at least so I understand. Things like electricity can be very expensive (varies by utility). People are paid a lot in CA, but the cost of living is to match.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by JW-Retired »

Bustoff wrote: Our $250,000 house and half-acre lot in the mid-west would easily cost $750,000 in HB, probably more.
Housing generally becomes more affordable as you travel further east from the coast but the weather also gets hotter.
......
There must be some retired Bogleheads living in CA that don't live in million dollar homes. We don't need luxurious house, but on the other hand when your 60 yoa, one does require a modicum of comfort.
.......
So is it possible to live a Boglehead lifestyle in California?
Anywhere near the coast or big employment centers is usually going to be expensive. How close to HB relatives do you have to be? You can surely find something like $250k houses in the Central Valley. Zillow around Fresno, for example. That would be a 3 hr drive to HB if you do it off commuting times.

I have no personal knowledge of Fresno at all.......... just saying that California is a big state.
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Last edited by JW-Retired on Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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steve_14
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by steve_14 »

Typically you want to spend your working years in the high wage area then retire to the low wage one, not the other way around. Unfortunately, almost all of coastal CA, even those away from the urban centers, are expensive, so you'll have to make some compromises, and spend $500K+ even for a modest condo. Depends on what's important to you. You will save on utilities.
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SnapShots
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by SnapShots »

sscritic wrote:P.S. I think they still have trailer parks in HB, even some right along the beach. Is that boglehead enough for you?
https://www.google.com/search?client=sa ... 8&oe=UTF-8
Manufactured homes is the correct term. An RV would be trailer like living.

Problem with wonderful weather, great scenery and beaches in the United States are lots and lots and lots of people want to live there, driving up costs of everything.

At one time I lived in San Diego and there were some beautiful manufactured home communities on the beach. Still not dirt cheap but perhaps an alternative.

I have a friend who has loves Mexico, travels there often for vacations and is thinking about buying a retirement home along the beach. Gorgeous beaches and cheap to live there.

Below an AARP article about retiring to Mexico. Apparently, not all of Mexico is crime ridden.
http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/livable ... larta.html
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Bustoff
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Bustoff »

sscritic wrote: Is the price of your house really what defines a boglehead? I thought it was more along the lines of live below your means, use low cost funds for investing, etc.
Agree 100%. I was hoping that's what my post conveyed.
sscritic wrote:Here are some nice condos built in 2000 only blocks from the beach in HB that sold in the last three months:
338 5th St $739,900 2 2.25 1,680
354 5th St $799,900 2 2.25 2,100
358 5th St $720,000 2 2.5 1,680
382 5th St $750,000 2 2.5 2,280
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JnIUhxe7rw
$750,000 Condos !!!
I would never be able come here and agonize about investing because there would be nothing left to invest...it would all be in the condo :shock:
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Bustoff
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Bustoff »

sscritic wrote:P.S. I think they still have trailer parks in HB, even some right along the beach. Is that boglehead enough for you?
https://www.google.com/search?client=sa ... 8&oe=UTF-8
Yes they are still there. I don't think the wife would go for it though.
steve_14
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by steve_14 »

Bustoff wrote:$750,000 Condos !!!
I would never be able come here and agonize about investing because there would be nothing left to invest...it would all be in the condo :shock:
Or, more correctly, the dirt under the condo :) . The development itself would be the same as you could find in the midwest for $150,000.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by stan1 »

How about Big Bear (up in the San Bernardino mountains)? Trees near by and it's not the desert. Would be a nice retreat for the family. There are definitely houses in the $350-400K range -- depending upon what you are looking for.
Last edited by stan1 on Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
jackholloway
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by jackholloway »

Bustoff wrote:"And California Dreamin' is becoming a reality".... NOT.

For years we worked and saved with the hope of retiring in California. But due to the cost of housing we feel our dream is fading away.
Last December we were back in Huntington Beach visiting family over the holidays. We love the climate in Huntington Beach but could never afford to live there. Our $250,000 house and half-acre lot in the mid-west would easily cost $750,000 in HB, probably more.
Housing generally becomes more affordable as you travel further east from the coast but the weather also gets hotter.

During our last visit we drove from HB to Palm Springs and spent a few days in Palm Desert. Along the way we saw what looked like some a great areas at the north end of California State Route 241, but even that far west many of those neighborhoods consisted of million dollar homes. We realize there are places where you can get buy a house for $400K in Riverside County but the heat and smog can be bad.

There must be some retired Bogleheads living in CA that don't live in million dollar homes. We don't need luxurious house, but on the other hand when your 60 yoa, one does require a modicum of comfort.

So is it possible to live a Boglehead lifestyle in California?
I suspect the half acre lot is a big part of the problem. I grew up in a 3500 sf house on half an acre near Denver that now sells for 300-400k. My house is 1800 sf on a tenth acre and sells for 550k-600k in Orange County. Despite the smaller space and missing the Rockies, I would not swap back. I like it here.

If the boglehead lifestyle means living in a Midwest sized house in one of the expensive areas, then no, but if it means matching your desires to your means, then very likely yes. Decide what is important, and look with that lens. For me, the climate, the culture, the fun options all weigh in. I went to see the Space Shuttle Endevour yesterday, an aircraft carrier last weekend, and an award winning zoo two weeks ago. These thing are not unique to here - the battleship NJ and the art museum were highlights of my last Philly trip, but having the variety within a short drive without summer humidity make _me_ happy.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by DiscoBunny1979 »

The best bargain in Southern California for housing in terms of amount of land and type of house in my opinion would be in Yucca Valley, located about a 40 minute drive north of Palm Springs. Why? Because it offers about a 10 degree cooler temperature in Summer, the Marine Base located in 29 palms means that Yucca Valley most likely has to remain a viable city as a 'hub', required shopping in terms of grocery stores, Home Depot, Super Wal Mart and other retailers exist, no shortage of Doctors and a local Hospital with Helicopter pad for emergencies from surrounding tourist areas (Joshua Tree National Park), low crime, low insurance costs, historically low property costs compared to the rest of California, and other reasons. The only problem with YV (as with any place) is understanding that 'normal' may not quite fit into your concept of 'normal' for how people live (i.e. drug use, divorce rate, Church going folks but raise children that might be considered uncontrolable).
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sscritic
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by sscritic »

Bustoff wrote: $750,000 Condos !!!
I would never be able come here and agonize about investing because there would be nothing left to invest...it would all be in the condo :shock:
For years we worked and saved with the hope of retiring in California.
I am not trying to pick on you, but I am having trouble reconciling these two statements.

When I moved to CA in 1977, I sold a 3 story house with a basement in Pittsburgh for $40,000 and bought a one story house (no basement) in LA nowhere near the beach for $120,000. A 3:1 ratio in house prices is not new. If you have been working and saving for years to have a California retirement, did you not know all those years that the cost of a house in California would be three to four times as much as what you were used to? (Near the beach, try five, so $250k becomes $1.25 million.)

If I were planning on retiring in London, I would save accordingly. (I wasn't, so I didn't.) Living within 2 or 3 blocks of the beach (my wife and I used to argue about where you start the measurement, at the street corner nearest the beach or the next one farther away) is not going to be cheap.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Raybo »

Orange County is a big place. There are lots of older neighborhoods inland where you might be able to find a "cheaper" home. But, cost of housing will be a big part of your cost of living in SoCal. On the other hand, you might find savings on other things, such as heating/cooling, that might make the difference manageable.

It is hard to put a price on comfort and enjoyment.

But, if you can't afford it full-time, maybe you can swing being there part of the year. Maybe go there during the winter and summer months and spend spring and fall at home.

Does it have to be all or nothing?
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by baw703916 »

As many others have pointed out, California is a big state, and the two areas you mention are very desirable locations in a large metro area. The Bay Area in general is even more expensive than southern California.

One big question is what climate you are looking for--the coast of far northern California isn't that expensive, but it's not the sunny beach weather that everyone thinks of from the movies, more like the Pacific Northwest. The Sierra foothills may be something to consider: very scenic, historic--the Gold Rush, not that expensive, elevation gives a bit of a break from the heat but not high enough for much snow.
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Bustoff
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Bustoff »

Valuethinker wrote: You need to analyze what it is about California that you seek?
Mainly the climate and geographic diversity.

Where we live in the midwest the winters are cold and the summers are unbearably hot and humid. Played golf on Thursday but it was so hot and humid it's not enjoyable -- and it's only June.

I'm trying to be more flexible about relocating to other states around CA. For instance, I was thinking that moving to one of the western states like Utah or Arizona would at least get us warmer winters or more pleasant summers and still be within driving distance of California and the some of the National Parks out west.
From Utah or Arizona we could drive to various places in CA and do VRBO's for a couple of months here or there.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by letsgobobby »

You are probably priced out until the next housing crash, or the next earthquake. Unless you have a spare $750,000 sitting around you didn't need to live on...

And you didn't even take into account taxes. California is a place I visit now, and would not live there even with $10,000,000, as the crowds and the crime are a turn off for me. But going to San Francisco or LA or driving the coast or hiking the mountains every now and then is fun.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by lostinjersey »

There is a LOT of California outside Huntington Beach and Palm Desert. Other posters have given good suggestions. Look inland and/or outside the main employment centers, and real estate gets cheaper fast. Doesn't even have to be that far. Don't give up on your dream without doing some further research.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by RunningRad »

California has a lot to offer, but when it is time to retire, it is about the last place I would choose to move, unless one or both of my children relocated there.

High cost of living, high taxes, and overcrowded cities would have me looking elsewhere. You can get similar climate and resources elsewhere and live a far better lifestyle, IMO, and have plenty of extra cash around to visit whenever you want.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by CABob »

I moved to California in the 60's and when I complained about cost of living (housing, taxes. etc.) I was told that it was just the price for living in paradise. To me it is somewhat less than paradise, but, still expensive.
You can certainly find a house for less than a million, but, in the $250K area you probably don't want to live there.
If you expand your search away from the Orange County coast the prices get cheaper. You might also check north of Los Angeles like Ventura, Camarillo, etc.
http://homes.venturacountystar.com/
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by stlutz »

Are taxes really that high in CA for someone in the OPs situation? If they find a home in their price range, won't the property taxes be less than in the Midwest? And again, if they won't have the income to pay for an expensive home, I assume they won't be in the top brackets in the steeply progressive tax code the CA has.
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Bustoff
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Bustoff »

sscritic wrote:
Bustoff wrote: $750,000 Condos !!!
I would never be able come here and agonize about investing because there would be nothing left to invest...it would all be in the condo :shock:
For years we worked and saved with the hope of retiring in California.
I am not trying to pick on you, but I am having trouble reconciling these two statements.

When I moved to CA in 1977, I sold a 3 story house with a basement in Pittsburgh for $40,000 and bought a one story house (no basement) in LA nowhere near the beach for $120,000. A 3:1 ratio in house prices is not new. If you have been working and saving for years to have a California retirement, did you not know all those years that the cost of a house in California would be three to four times as much as what you were used to? (Near the beach, try five, so $250k becomes $1.25 million.)

If I were planning on retiring in London, I would save accordingly. (I wasn't, so I didn't.) Living within 2 or 3 blocks of the beach (my wife and I used to argue about where you start the measurement, at the street corner nearest the beach or the next one farther away) is not going to be cheap.
Perhaps I should have articulated more precisely. Like everyone here, we worked and saved for years in order to simply retire. We hoped when we retired we might be able afford living in CA.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by mageedge »

As others have pointed out california is a large and diverse place - climate and cost of housing! A couple of ideas, from personal experience, to add to the mix depending on your preferences :-
1) for coastal living the central coast around San Luis Obispo remains (relatively) good value - e.g. median house price in Huntington Beach is $650,000+ versus median in Grover Beach, a San Luis beach town, is $390k. Good climate, low crime and not too crowded.
2) for lower cost housing the Central Valley has some nice communities, e.g. Hanford, south of Fresno, median house price below $200k. Weather is not as good as the coast but less extreme than the mid-west - lots of summer golf! Geographic diversity - 90 minutes to the High Sierras or to the Central Coast.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by stan1 »

Another possibility:

Kernville (adjacent to the Sequoia National Forest about 1 hour from Bakersfield which has air connections to large west coast hubs like Houston, Denver, and Phoenix)

You will definitely find comfortable houses in the $250-300K range here -- and much less if you want a more rustic cabin. There will also be a lot of other retirees.

It would be about a 3.5 hour drive to Orange County.

Also second San Luis Obispo County if you want a better value near the coast.

There are also a number of retiree friendly mobile home parks in North San Diego county (Oceanside, San Marcos).
http://www.retirensdc.com/MobileManufactComm.htm

This community of manufactured homes even has tile roofs:
http://www.retirensdc.com/LasBrisas.htm (pricing advertised in the high 200s to high 300s).

I'm skipping over places that are hot/flat (Bakersfield, Fresno, Lancaster/Palmdale, Victorville/Hesperia/Apple Valley, El Centro) and anything north of Fresno (Sacramento, Chico, Sonora, Grass Valley, ....) All of which will have houses that are less than coastal areas but which are a day's drive from your relatives in Southern California.
Last edited by stan1 on Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Bustoff
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Bustoff »

Really appreciate the thoughts and suggestions. We are trying to think a little more outside the box by considering neighboring states.
RunningRad wrote:You can get similar climate and resources elsewhere and live a far better lifestyle, IMO, and have plenty of extra cash around to visit whenever you want.
Details please ... many of us would like know the location of those places.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by sscritic »

It's all in the dream. If you dream of taking your morning walk along the beach, then Palm Desert isn't it. If you dream of having an average summer high of 72 and an average winter low of 50, then Palm Desert isn't it (107 and 44). I was born in Portland and I love Portland, but Portland isn't it either (it is not Seaside or Gearhart, and 80 and 36 isn't it either).

Now if your dream is not the HB dream, then go where your dream is.

P.S. Don't forget the 4th of July parade coming up.
The largest Independence Day parade west of the Mississippi River features more than 300 entries including bands, floats, film and television celebrities, local dignitaries, equestrians and community groups.
P.P.S. Houses on the beach in Gearhart run over $1 million. Here is one for $2.7 million and a sale from 2012 at $1.85 million.
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/702-S ... 6646_zpid/
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/22-S- ... 6626_zpid/
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Bustoff
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Bustoff »

stan1 wrote:Another possibility:

Kernville (adjacent to the Sequoia National Forest about 1 hour from Bakersfield which has air connections to large west coast hubs like Houston, Denver, and Phoenix)

You will definitely find comfortable houses in the $250-300K range here -- and much less if you want a more rustic cabin. There will also be a lot of other retirees.

It would be about a 3.5 hour drive to Orange County.

Also second San Luis Obispo County if you want a better value near the coast.
There are also a number of retiree friendly mobile home parks in North San Diego county (Oceanside, San Marcos).
http://www.retirensdc.com/MobileManufactComm.htm

I'm skipping over places that are hot/flat (Bakersfield, Fresno, Lancaster/Palmdale, Victorville/Hesperia/Apple Valley, El Centro) and anything north of Fresno (Sacramento, Chico, Sonora, Grass Valley, ....) All of which will have houses that are less than coastal areas but which are a day's drive from your relatives in Southern California.
Thanks for the suggestions Stan. Never heard of Kernville, but Obispo has been on our radar. We are hoping to get there on our next trip.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by lawman3966 »

I checked out housing prices in Riverside county after a friend of mine moved to CA. He came into to some money and initially bought a $400K home near Palm Springs. A few years later, he opted to downsize and moved into a much smaller place in Morongo Valley, which cost under $100K. It's only about 750 sq ft, and I think uses a swamp cooler rather than conventional AC. I mention this not to suggest that you rough it to this extent, but to show that housing is available in CA at a wide range of prices. I assume that you could find something in between $80K and $400 that would suit you. Palm Springs is full of retirees and most don't live in $ 1 million homes.

While CA's taxes aren't low, they aren't that bad at the low end, which is what one would be paying if drawing interest and dividends from a modest sized portfolio.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/state- ... -tax-rates
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Bustoff
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Bustoff »

lawman3966 wrote:I checked out housing prices in Riverside county after a friend of mine moved to CA. He came into to some money and initially bought a $400K home near Palm Springs. A few years later, he opted to downsize and moved into a much smaller place in Morongo Valley, which cost under $100K. It's only about 750 sq ft, and I think uses a swamp cooler rather than conventional AC. I mention this not to suggest that you rough it to this extent, but to show that housing is available in CA at a wide range of prices. I assume that you could find something in between $80K and $400 that would suit you. Palm Springs is full of retirees and most don't live in $ 1 million homes.

While CA's taxes aren't low, they aren't that bad at the low end, which is what one would be paying if drawing interest and dividends from a modest sized portfolio.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/state- ... -tax-rates
Good point. Being retired with only a small pension places us in the 10% federal tax bracket. So CA state taxes shouldn't be too bad. It's a double edged sword however because our income is too low to qualify for a mortgage, and that means paying for a house with cash from the portfolio.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by harrychan »

There are plenty of condos in Huntington Beach and other nearby cities who boast similar lifestyle such as Long Beach, El Segundo, and Santa Ana. If you don't mind a bit more inland, you can try Tustin, Mission Viejo and Irvine. You can also try smaller towns between San Diego and Los Angeles where people who need to commute to either wouldn't consider. You should be able to find condos or apt which are under $300k. You do need to watch out for HOA fees but they do cover a variety of services.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
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JMacDonald
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by JMacDonald »

I don't think that you did much of a search. i just check a real estate website and found some places for less than a million in Huntington Beach: http://www.trulia.com/for_sale/Huntingt ... 0000_price
You won't be able to get what you have in the mid-west for 250k, but you can find something if you really want to move to HB.
Best Wishes, | Joe
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by chaz »

letsgobobby wrote:You are probably priced out until the next housing crash, or the next earthquake. Unless you have a spare $750,000 sitting around you didn't need to live on...

And you didn't even take into account taxes. California is a place I visit now, and would not live there even with $10,000,000, as the crowds and the crime are a turn off for me. But going to San Francisco or LA or driving the coast or hiking the mountains every now and then is fun.
We left California to move to a state with no income tax.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by lululu »

The areas of California that I know about were pleasant and affordable decades ago. Now they are overrun by google types and completely unaffordable for most people. The character has also changed, from small town or university town to crass. The crime rate has gone up considerably where I used to live; I used to exercise walk at night, now I'd be crazy to do that there.

I would analyze what it is you liked about California, and look for those features elsewhere.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by investor »

I second areas around or in San Louis Obispo. SLO is one of the best areas in central California.
Also if you want a small condo 1160 sq ft in a retirement community then check out Leisure World in Seal Beach. (gated 55 and older community) It is 2.5 miles from the beach. Units available in the <<$300K Range.

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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by HueyLD »

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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by sscritic »

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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by ogd »

Bustoff wrote:Thanks for the suggestions Stan. Never heard of Kernville, but Obispo has been on our radar. We are hoping to get there on our next trip.
I warmly second the SLO area. It's very nice (beach, wineries, not too hot, reasonable drives to both LA and the SF Bay) and you're not competing with high earners for housing.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by NorCalDad »

SLO is at the top of my list as a place to retire in 25 years. Weather is great, close to the coast, cultural events at the university and an easy drive to Paso Robles/Santa Barbara County wineries. It's easier for us living in California already since our current home is worth roughly the same as the kinds of homes we'd retire into in SLO.

I know California isn't nirvana, but I still think I wouldn't live anywhere else. sscritic's point is well taken, though - you have to plan your nest egg accordingly. There are cheaper places to live in neighboring states, but also tradeoffs. All depends on what you want in retirement.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by sscritic »

NorCalDad wrote:SLO is at the top of my list as a place to retire in 25 years. Weather is great, close to the coast, cultural events at the university and an easy drive to Paso Robles/Santa Barbara County wineries. It's easier for us living in California already since our current home is worth roughly the same as the kinds of homes we'd retire into in SLO, somewhere in the $600,000 range.
Don't forget driving south to Solvang, the "Sideways" tour, Fess Parker, and the Chumash Casino. And Santa Maria for the real Santa Maria tri-tip. And Vandenberg for space launches.

Oops. I almost forgot Pea Soup Andersen's.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by cmr86 »

I live in Sacramento and my house was $234k (I purchased in 2011) for a 2200sqft. corner house in a nice suburban neighborhood. Weather here isn't too bad. Summer months can be from low 90s to 110, but the evenings cool off considerably (to about a nice lower sixties) due to the delta breeze.

*shrug* But being close to the ocean isn't really a high priority for me. I really love Sacramento.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by mikefixac »

High cost of living, high taxes, and overcrowded cities would have me looking elsewhere. You can get similar climate and resources elsewhere and live a far better lifestyle, IMO, and have plenty of extra cash around to visit whenever you want.
I understand where OP is coming from. I live in OC and to find anything satisfactory, you're looking at least .5MM.

I would like to move from my beloved SoCal to FL. In fact, Bogleheads, enlighten me: Why would someone want to stay in SoCal, with its high expenses/density, when one could live on the water in FL, and actually use the water itself (as in swimming)?

Friends from FL say SoCal is much nicer, but I just don't get it. When I visit, I love FL and I'd rather be close to East coast big cities than West coast big cities.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by lululu »

sscritic wrote: Oops. I almost forgot Pea Soup Andersen's.
I'm happy to report Pea Soup Andersen's pea soup can now be bought through the mail.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by cmr86 »

mikefixac wrote:
Friends from FL say SoCal is much nicer, but I just don't get it. When I visit, I love FL and I'd rather be close to East coast big cities than West coast big cities.
Perhaps the grass is always greener...

Nah. I love NorCal.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (where to retire).
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Valuethinker »

mikefixac wrote:
High cost of living, high taxes, and overcrowded cities would have me looking elsewhere. You can get similar climate and resources elsewhere and live a far better lifestyle, IMO, and have plenty of extra cash around to visit whenever you want.
I understand where OP is coming from. I live in OC and to find anything satisfactory, you're looking at least .5MM.

I would like to move from my beloved SoCal to FL. In fact, Bogleheads, enlighten me: Why would someone want to stay in SoCal, with its high expenses/density, when one could live on the water in FL, and actually use the water itself (as in swimming)?

Friends from FL say SoCal is much nicer, but I just don't get it. When I visit, I love FL and I'd rather be close to East coast big cities than West coast big cities.
Humidity. Flat, really flat. Urban sprawl. Mosquitoes. Hurricanes. People moving there faster than they are to California.

I realize California is not sweetness and light, but read Carl Hiassen. There is a craziness about Florida.

Caveat: there are probably lots of great places to live in Florida. I was trying outline some of the downsides in response to your question.
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Re: Retired Bogleheads want to relocate to California

Post by Valuethinker »

NorCalDad wrote:SLO is at the top of my list as a place to retire in 25 years. Weather is great, close to the coast, cultural events at the university and an easy drive to Paso Robles/Santa Barbara County wineries. It's easier for us living in California already since our current home is worth roughly the same as the kinds of homes we'd retire into in SLO.

I know California isn't nirvana, but I still think I wouldn't live anywhere else. sscritic's point is well taken, though - you have to plan your nest egg accordingly. There are cheaper places to live in neighboring states, but also tradeoffs. All depends on what you want in retirement.
San Luis Obispo? (had to google it)
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