Retirement is a time for relaxation, and stress about money or the cost of living can make that difficult. In the East Bay, San Francisco has a notoriously high cost of living, and while it’s still higher than the national average, Oakland offers a little lower cost to seniors. They also have advantages like location and tax breaks through Proposition 13. So, while it might not be a cheap place to live, you can find a way of life that is perfect for a retired senior by searching around for discount options.
Let’s look at some of the expenses you’ll have during retirement so you can see where Oakland falls.
If you no longer want to take care of your house, you can move into a retirement community and have someone do it for you. Assisted living in Oakland costs $47,670 per year and that amount could include your meals, amenities like housekeeping, and your utilities.
The housing market is one of the main reasons Oakland’s cost of living is 79% higher than the national average. The average price of a house here is $605,900, but home appreciation is up 13.2% since last year. You can also look around at some of the different neighborhoods in Oakland to find one that fits your lifestyle and budget. Movoto named places like Lakeside and Old City as some of the best areas to live in based on things like crime rates, housing costs, and overall quality of living.
Renting could be a better option for some seniors with the average rent at $2,778. A one-bedroom apartment costs about $2,374, and a two-bedroom apartment costs $3,065.
If you look at Medicare spending, you’ll see that Oakland is higher than the national average. The national average is about $9,500 per beneficiary while Oakland’s average is $10,827 per recipient.
Because costs are so high, you need to budget wisely. Not only will you pay for some care, but you’ll also cover deductibles and coinsurances as well. Also, be aware that some Medicare approved facilities will not use fee-for-service rates, which leaves you in charge of paying for the difference between allowed charges and reimbursement costs.
If you choose to keep your car, you will need to cover gas and insurance. Gas can be pricey in this area, and average insurance rates run about $1,810. You should shop around though because rates can be as high as $2,466 or as little as $1,248. Many places offer a safe driver discount, and if you don’t drive often, you might be able to save money by using a pay per mile model.
Public transportation is another option and seniors can save money on reduced fares. If you’re 65, a Medicare cardholder, or have a disability, you’re eligible for a discount.
Even though Oakland can be pricey, there is a lot to do for free. If you enjoy the great outdoors, visit the Redwood National Park or take a Wild Oakland nature walk. Oakland Art Murmur has an event called First Friday where you can take a free art walk on the first Friday of every month. Visit the Oakland History Room at the Oakland Public Library or go to the Oakland Museum of California for free on the first Sunday of every month.
Find assisted living in Oakland near you.