As you choose a retirement destination, it is important to consider the cost of living there. There is no getting around the fact that living in Los Angeles can be expensive. However, there are some expenses in the city that are actually quite affordable for retirees trying to live on a fixed income.
The overall cost of living in Los Angeles is 17.9 percent higher than the United States average according to Forbes. Yet, the costs are actually somewhat reasonable for it being the second largest city in the nation. But, what about key expenses? How does the City of Angels compare to the rest of the country?
Los Angeles is exhibiting a mild upward trend for home and rent prices. And, with the healthy population and job growth in the city, this trend is likely to continue. In July of 2015, the median home value in Los Angeles was $454,500. And, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles is $2,282 per month on average. A two-bedroom apartment will cost you about $2,979 according to figures from June of 2016. If you do not mind living outside of the city limits, there are many deals to be found in some of Los Angeles’s surrounding suburbs.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Angelenos spend about the same percentage of their household budget on food as the rest of the country. However, residents in Los Angeles spend a larger proportion of their food budget on food prepared away from home, such as going out to eat. To give you an idea of how expensive groceries are in Los Angeles, a dozen eggs costs $3.79, a pound of boneless and skinless chicken breasts is an average of $4.45, and a gallon of milk will run you $3.70.
Overall, the proportion of household budgets in Los Angeles spent on transportation is significantly lower than the national average. Just fifteen percent of residents’ budgets go to transportation, and seniors can expect to pay even less if they do not have a daily commute. Gas is expensive with prices ranging from $2.53 to $3.37. Car insurance in Los Angeles is among the highest in California at $1,380 per year, and it is somewhat higher than the national average of about $1,100. These rates can vary quite a bit based on your driving habits, history, and the type of car you drive.
Across the board, senior care costs are more expensive in Los Angeles. For home health care, you can expect to pay about $51,500 per year in Los Angeles. The national average is $46,000. Adult day health care is $18,850 in Los Angeles and $17,680 nationally. A year of assisted living in LA will run you $48,000. This is compared to $43,539 elsewhere. A private and semi-private room in a nursing home costs $108,040 and $83,220 respectively in Los Angeles and averages $92,378 and $82,125 in the US as a whole.
Be sure to comparison shop for housing based on costs, walkability, and affordable transportation solutions to really stretch your retirement funds.
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