The cost of retirement is a concern for many seniors because most have a limited budget. California typically has a higher cost of living, and that can make it difficult for the elderly to stay in the area. While Irvine does have higher costs for many things, they also have some great perks and support for seniors. Irvine is still less expensive than San Francisco, and they have property tax exemptions for qualified seniors. They are also one of the safest cities in the country and consistently make the list as one of the best places to retire in California.
Here is a look at some of the costs you can expect in Irvine.
Perhaps you’re ready to leave your house and move to a senior living community. Often, these communities have an assisted living option, and in the Orange County area, you can expect to pay $48,000 per year. That price includes your rent and utilities as well as things like a meal plan, housekeeping services, and possibly transportation.
You can also stay in your house or look for a new home to purchase, but that could come with a big price tag. The average cost of a home in Irvine is around $776,500, which is much higher than the national average of $185,800. While a house might be costly, Irvine is listed as the top most affordable city in Southern California by lifestyle website Lifehack. Time Money also listed it as one of the best places to live and Safewise added it to its list of 50 safest cities in the area. Niche, a real estate site, put it in it’s top 10 best cities to retire in California as well.
You might decide to rent instead of buying, and the average rent in Irvine is around $2,269. A one-bedroom apartment costs about $1,958 per month, and a two-bedroom place is around $2,522.
Health care can be another expensive part of retirement and Medicare estimates that per beneficiary in Orange County, they spend around $10,879 which is much higher than the national average of $9,500. It’s also higher than the state average of $10,375.
You should save as much as you can for health care costs because while Medicare will cover some services, you still need to pay your deductible and coinsurance. You also need to consider that some Medicare providers don’t operate with fee-for-service rates and you will pay the difference out-of-pocket.
Drivers need to factor both gas and insurance into their budget. Gas prices appear to be dropping which is great, but insurance rates are going up. The average rate in Irvine is around $1,299, but you could pay as much as $1,594 or as little as $892. Shop around for the best price and coverage for your needs. You can also ask about safe driver discounts and possibly paying by the mile instead of a flat fee, if you don’t drive a lot.
Public transportation is another option if you don’t want to drive or don’t have a car. The Orange County Transit Authority operates an iShuttle in the Irvine area and offers senior discounts for adults 60 and older.
While health care and housing costs might be hefty in Irvine, there are plenty of things to do and see that don’t cost anything. You can visit the William R. Mason Regional Park, San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, or the Irvine Museum all for free. Seniors can also get a discount on a round of golf at the Strawberry Farms Golf Course.
Find assisted living in Irvine near you.