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Old 06-08-2018, 06:16 AM
 
Location: SLC
835 posts, read 571,141 times
Reputation: 1925

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My wife and I are in late 50s, about 8 to 10 years from retirement. We currently live in Utah - where there are some things we absolutely love but also some that might lead us to seek a different state to retire in. We are attracted to retirement scenarios near the beach around SM or nearby Venice, etc. [We are not the first or the last in that.] We have some financial assets so it is not completely out of range, but they are not so abundant to make it an easy decision. We don’t particularly value the square footage, so small condo type living is what we’d look to. What attracts us is, of course, the weather, the beach, urban and a bit upscale setting, walkability, restaurants and culinary scene and the general ambience (though did find SM a bit overrun during the Memorial Day weekend we spent there). Have not looked into health care situation. Of course, the negatives are considerable as well - starting with the real estate prices and taxes (income and property). The LA traffic is, of course, scary but our thought is that in retirement if one is located more or less in the area where you want to be and do most things, it becomes less of a concern.

This might turn out to be a flight of fancy rather than something we actually do, but it is definitely in the aspirational target list. The decision itself is 8-10 years away. A lot will depend on where our financial portfolio is compared to the pricing at the time and other life situations like health - and we might still shy away as it is, financially speaking, going to be a tough call at the best of times.

This is a statement of our aspiration and intent rather than a question. I would like your thoughts that might inform us in our decision making - sobering ones as well as anything we could do to bring it to reality over the next 8-10 years.
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Old 06-08-2018, 06:53 AM
 
Location: California
2,830 posts, read 2,023,685 times
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I don't think SM is well suited for retirees, personally. For starters, the demographics skew heavily towards the younger age groups (20s, 30s), which may not seem like a big deal initially, but might wear on you after a while (i.e. fewer people to relate to and/or socialize with). Cost, including taxes, is another big issue, but that would depend on your financial situation (California is generally not a very retirement friendly state, cost wise). Lastly, even though the SM/Venice area is pretty self-contained insofar as restaurants, shopping, and entertainment are concerned, the greater LA area and OC have a lot to offer. You will almost surely want to explore different places, and fighting through LA traffic wears on you over time.

I don't want to dissuade you from the idea of retiring in SM, but you should be aware of some of the downsides. There are certainly upsides as well, primarily the vibe and beach, which have made it quite the popular place to live. Also be aware that the SM/Venice area has a significant homelessness problem, which, as with the traffic, might start to drive you nuts after a while. Younger people generally tolerate it better than older people.

Personally, I would look at areas such as Santa Barbara or parts of OC for retirement. Good luck!

Last edited by ryanst530; 06-08-2018 at 07:05 AM..
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:06 AM
 
Location: SLC
835 posts, read 571,141 times
Reputation: 1925
Thank you very much! This is very helpful and exactly the type of feedback I am looking for. Will definitely look into Santa Barbara. As far as OC goes, We are less keen on that. That is the only area of of Southern California where I have spent some time visiting (commuting from the East coast and spending some weekends). I did not exactly hate it but did not like it much either...
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
25,306 posts, read 16,452,153 times
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Are the demographics of people living in SM that young though ? I know a lot of tech companies are there and nearby and there’s new money in the area .

According to city data median age is 40
//www.city-data.com/city/Santa-...alifornia.html

That’s actually a bit higher than the average in CA and a little bit higher than Santa Barbara.
It’s an expensive area so less younger people can afford to live there . Some have those very high paying jobs of course but that’s not most younger people .

I don’t see SM Being a bad place for a retiree . I guess it depends what one is looking for though . Crime rates are pretty low . The city seems to have pretty good services . The homeless situation isn’t great but that’s the same in many parts of the la area now .

Personally I think South Florida would be nicer for retirees .. not sure if you’ve explored there much . There are certain areas that have walkable strips of places somewhat similar to third street .
Las Olas/Downtown Fort Lauderdale area , Del Rey Beach , Downtown Hollywood ,

Miami I’m not sure if I’d recommend and it could be hard to get by if one doesn’t know Spanish which you may or may not know . But the South Beach area has a similar feel in a way to 3rd street promenade but more lively .

The advantage in Santa Monica would be more mild weather , no hurricanes or high humidity , better public transportation, better medical hospitals . Santa Monica has a UCLA hospital , St John’s etc and the main UCLA hospital is close by in Westwood .
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:32 AM
 
Location: California
2,830 posts, read 2,023,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
Thank you very much! This is very helpful and exactly the type of feedback I am looking for. Will definitely look into Santa Barbara. As far as OC goes, We are less keen on that. That is the only area of of Southern California where I have spent some time visiting (commuting from the East coast and spending some weekends). I did not exactly hate it but did not like it much either...
Glad I could help. Was there anything in particular about OC you did not care for? Perhaps people here can help suggest a better place with that info in mind.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:42 AM
 
Location: California
2,830 posts, read 2,023,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1982 View Post
Are the demographics of people living in SM that young though ? I know a lot of tech companies are there and nearby and there’s new money in the area .

According to city data median age is 40
//www.city-data.com/city/Santa-...alifornia.html
Interesting points, jm.

Based on the demographics, I still don't know that I would consider SM a solid retirement location:

Santa Monica:
18-24: 7.2%
25-44: 36.2%
45-64: 27.6%
65+: 15%

Sun City, AZ:
18-24: 0.3%
25-44: 2.0%
45-64: 17.5%
65+: 79.8%

I threw Sun City in there because it is sort of the gold standard for retirement destinations. Santa Monica is probably OK up until you reach your mid 60s, but after that, I would imagine things might get a little stale/lonely with only 15% of the population over 65.

Then again, I'm only in my early 30s, so what do I know?

Last edited by ryanst530; 06-08-2018 at 08:59 AM..
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
25,306 posts, read 16,452,153 times
Reputation: 12186
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanst530 View Post
Interesting points, jm.

Based on the demographics, I still don't know that I would consider SM a solid retirement location:

Santa Monica:
18-24: 7.2%
25-44: 36.2%
45-64: 27.6%
65+: 15%

Sun City, AZ:
18-24: 0.3%
25-44: 2.0%
45-64: 17.5%
65+: 79.8%

I threw Sun City in there because it is sort of the gold standard for retirement destinations. Santa Monica is probably OK up until you reach your mid 60s, but after that, I would imagine things might get a little stale/lonely with only 15% of the population over 65.

Then again, I'm only in my early 30s, so what do I know?
Interesting break down of the ages .

Yeah I don’t know , I mean how many people is one going to hang with .
15% of the population is still quite a few people .

I imagine there are quite a few social clubs and meetup type things for seniors in Santa Monica .

One difference I noticed in South Florida is that you’d see older people out more at restaurants and bars . In L.A more places do seem to cater to youth.

Also who is to say everyone has to hang with people around their same age .
Everyone is different of course .
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Old 06-08-2018, 09:38 AM
 
60 posts, read 37,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanst530 View Post
Interesting points, jm.
Santa Monica is probably OK up until you reach your mid 60s, but after that, I would imagine things might get a little stale/lonely
Trust me, Santa Monica never gets stale (or anywhere along the California Coast, (except for Imperial Beach, that place will always be the most undesirable because Tijuanans dump of sewage into the ocean and contaminants the United States side of the I river.)

My point is, although there aren’t many retires Santa Monica, many would love to if it weren’t for the high cost of living. Who wouldn’t want to walk up every morning and go for a jog on the boardwalk? Then sunsets over th ocean with the mountainous coast of Pacific Palacides soaring him in the backdrop.

Most retires in The South West United States are concentrated in the Coachella Valley, New Mexico, and Arizona.
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:17 AM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 12,094,796 times
Reputation: 12377
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
Thank you very much! This is very helpful and exactly the type of feedback I am looking for. Will definitely look into Santa Barbara.
SB is far from a large metro, and is relatively isolated. It was recently inaccessible for weeks due to mudslides. It has limited medical care and for anything cutting edge, it's 100+ miles away.

And note: annual property values have been increasing around 10% per year in both SM and SB. What you can afford today may be out of range in 10 years.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:12 AM
 
Location: SLC
835 posts, read 571,141 times
Reputation: 1925
Thank you for so many useful points.
  • nightlysparrow's point is very important to us. While in good health, we'd not want to retire to a place that doesn't have very good health care conveniently nearby.
  • We do buy into the sentiment - Santa Monica never gets stale. If the cost side can be managed, we think it might be where we'd head for. The other thing is that if one is taking on the burden of California's high taxes and generally higher real estate prices to move there - it'd only make sense if the location is very attractive to us.
  • The retiree percentage isn't a huge driver for us. The factors I mentioned + those brought up by jm1982: low/modest crime rate, pretty good services, mild weather , no hurricanes or high humidity , better public transportation, better medical hospitals mean a lot more to us.

The following point by nightlyparrow something that we are pondering without a clear idea of the right strategy -
Quote:
annual property values have been increasing around 10% per year in both SM and SB. What you can afford today may be out of range in 10 years.
Is it better to buy now/sooner (which brings up the issue of what to do with the property, etc.) or wait till we are closer to the decision and find ourselves priced out? What are the considerations for people who aren't real estate junkies flipping real estate? A rental focused property isn't what we have in mind for our retirement.


PS - I would rather not discuss places elsewhere that are are well informed about. That'd would just derail the thread. Quite aware of FL, AZ options. OC is simply not attractive enough to us for taking on the California's tax bite.

Last edited by kavm; 06-08-2018 at 11:25 AM..
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