Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in San Luis Obispo, California?
Overview: Posh San Luis Obispo (SLO) is one of California's oldest communities, dating from the 1770s. It is halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and about 10 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Highly regarded Polytechnic State University (21,000 students) makes its home here.
The city is known for its beautiful climate and charming town center and complete lack of fast food drive-thru restaurants. Residents say that having to actually go into restaurants to eat (when there is no pandemic) has created a more relaxed, people-friendly environment. Cute shops, funky galleries and eclectic eateries line tree shaded, downtown streets, but the heart of the city is the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Court Street Center, Bubblegum Alley, the museum of art and the wonderful weekly farmers' market are all nearby. Palm Theatre is home of the city's international film festival, and the Festival Mosaic is held in the spacious Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center. Residents also enjoy Friday night summer concerts in Mission Plaza.
The city manages more than 4,000 acres of parks and open space, and a hike up Bishop's Peak presents stunning views of the city and the university. To the west of the city, Montano De Oro State Park has eucalyptus groves and isolated stretches of beach.
Housing is varied, with everything from adobes and Mediterraneans to classic Californian, mid-20th century single story ranch styles with flat roofs, plenty of windows and open floor plans.
Population: 48,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 32%
Cost of Living: 62% above the national average
Median Home Price: $750,000
Climate: This area has a cool Mediterranean climate. Summer temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, and winter temperatures are in the 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives about 30 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Transit: Yes
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 50%
Is California Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Cons: The earthquake risk is 1,122% higher than the national average. The poverty rate is above the national average, but this is attributed to the large student population.
Notes: SLO has been called the "happiest town in America" by at least one national publication. The city is racially diverse.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Thanks to the treaty that ended the Mexican-American War, the Golden State became a U.S. territory in 1847. Soon after, gold was found at Sutter's Mill. The land crowded with fortune seekers, and, shortly thereafter, California entered the Union as its 31st state in 1850.
California has 900 miles of coastline and claims the highest and lowest point in the continental U.S. Its terrain varies dramatically - from sandy beaches to rugged mountains, deserts to fertile farmland. Landmarks like Hollywood, Disneyland, and the Golden Gate Bridge play a large part in the nation's history and imagination.
Although Texas and New York have tried to close the gap, California's economy continues to be nation's largest. Agriculture, manufacturing, biotechnology, and tourism are some of its leading industries.
Cities of the Golden State have put some odd laws on the books. It's illegal to molest a monarch in Pacific Grove. Want to throw a frisbee on an L.A. County beach? Better ask a lifeguard first. What about bowling on the sidewalks of Chico? Strictly forbidden!
Population - 39,802,500
Persons 65 years old and over - 13%
High school graduates, age 25+ - 81.0%
Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 32%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 39%
White persons, not Hispanic - 39%
Median household income - $64,500
Median home value - $399,000
Social Security Taxed - No
Source: U.S. Census
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