One of the main considerations we need to research as we get ready for retirement is the cost of living in our preferred destination. There is no getting around the fact that it is expensive to live in San Francisco.
According to the latest statistics from Forbes, the cost of living in San Francisco is 50.5 percent higher than the national average. Yet, how does the City by the Bay stack up to the rest of the country when it comes to the main expenses we face in our twilight years?
Both the housing costs and rents have shown astronomical increases in San Francisco in recent years, and this is likely to continue as more people move to the city and the job growth remains strong. The median home price in San Francisco is $858,300. If you are looking to rent, you can expect to pay $3,490 per month on average for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco as of June 2016. Two-bedroom apartments are $4,754.
San Franciscans’ spending on food does not vary significantly from the national average though it is a little bit lower. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, residents spend an average of 11.9 percent of their household expenditures on food. They do spend significantly more than the rest of the nation on eating out. As of July 2016, average grocery prices in San Francisco are $4.99 for a gallon of milk, $4.20 for a dozen eggs, and $5.87 for a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
San Franciscans spend significantly less of their budget on transportation than the national average. 13.7 percent of household expenditures are on transportation versus 17.3 percent nationally. This number will be even lower if you are retired and don’t have a workday commute. Per numbers obtained in July of 2016, the gas prices in San Francisco range from $2.75 and $3.14 per gallon. Auto insurance in San Francisco is fairly expensive at an average of $1,648 per year. The national average is $1,099. You can usually find better rates depending on your driving habits, driving record, and type of vehicle.
Across the board, senior care is more expensive in San Francisco than the national medians. Adult day health care is the most affordable option at $20,280 per year, which is just $2,400 more than the national average. Home health care is $68,640 in San Francisco versus $46,000 nationally. A room in an assisted living facility will cost you $71,400 per year. This is compared to the US average of $43,539. The prices for private rooms and semi-private rooms in San Francisco nursing homes are $182,318 and $150,198 respectively. Both are over $60,000 more than the national median.
Living in San Francisco is expensive, but if you do your research and shop around, you will be able to get the most out of your retirement savings.
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