Retiring in California for anyone except the most well-off is out-of-reach

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-AD65) held a community get-together at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in La Palma on Saturday, January 11. She covered current hot political topics, showed herself to be well-informed, and even admitted that her office (and everybody else’s) was drowning in negative reaction to AB 5, the legislation that codified the new independent contractor test laid down by the California Supreme Court in the Dynamex case.

One thing that came up in a discussion of homelessness was how expensive it is to retire in California — too expensive! Even with a paid-off house, and ongoing protection from huge property tax increases (from a Proposition 13 increasingly under attack), retirees are adding up costs, comparing that total to their projected income, and scampering out-of-state.

Last year, more people moved out of California than moved in.

If you think maybe you could start up a little mom-and-pop business once you retire to cover some of those higher costs — the State of California is doing its best to make it difficult for you to do that: high minimum wages and intricate employment law make it mostly not worth the aggravation. The Dynamex ruling also interferes with you setting up as an independent contractor in your field of expertise.

Right on cue, WalletHub has issued its 2020 Best States to Retire report. Here is WalletHub’s quick take on California (1=best, 25=average):

  • 49th – Adjusted Cost of Living
  • 45th – Annual Cost of In-Home Services
  • 11th – WalletHub ‘Taxpayer’ Ranking
  • 38th – Elderly-Friendly Labor Market
  • 45th – % of Population Aged 65 & Older
  • 30th – Property-Crime Rate
  • 2nd – Life Expectancy
  • 29th – Health-Care Facilities per Capita

For those keeping score, the State of California does not rise above average in any category except Life Expectancy and WalletHub ‘Taxpayer’ Ranking. The State earns a composite score of 50.98 for an overall ranking of 32nd.

Surprise! Florida ranks #1. I’m thinking of heading to Colorado, which ranks #2 — it’s colder than Florida, but much less humid.

Source: WalletHub

In the above graphic supplied by WalletHub, darker is more friendly to retirees and  lighter  is… unfriendly.